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Number of children in need rises by 4 per cent since last year

Number of child protection plans rises by 5 per cent

The number of children in need at 31 March has increased this year, from 389,040 in 2017 to 404,710 in 2018, an increase of 4.0%. The number of episodes of need starting in the year has risen by 1.7% from 400,110 to 406,770, whereas the number of episodes ending in the year fell by 1.3% from 353,860 to 349,130.

The figures are revealed in a statistical release by the Department for Education.

The number of child protection plans at 31 March has increased this year, from 51,080 in 2017 to 53,790 in 2018, an increase of 5.3%. The number of child protection plans starting and ending during the year both continue to increase. The number of child protection plans starting has increased by a larger percentage (3.6%), than those ending (0.8%).

The gender split of children in need at 31 March 2018 was 53.0% male, and 45.0% female, with 2.0% being unborn or of unknown gender. The age split of children in need at 31 March 2018 remains broadly similar to previous years, with the largest age group being those aged 10-15 years, who account for 31.7% of children in need. Children aged under 5 account for 22.5%. Of the children in need whose ethnicity is known, 72.6% were white, followed by 8.6% that were black or black British, and 8.4% who were of a mixed ethnic background. The percentage of children in need at 31 March with a disability recorded has decreased this year from 12.9% in 2017 to 12.3% in 2018. This percentage has fluctuated over the last six years, however there has been an overall decrease, from 13.8% in 2013.

The Local Government Association has responded to the figures
by warning that the increase in children on child protection plans shows the massive demand that is being placed on councils at a time when resources are being reduced, and highlights the growing number of children and families needing support from children's services. Council leaders say these figures prove why it is vital the Chancellor announces new funding for children's services in Monday's Autumn Budget.

For the full statistics, click here. For the Local Government Association's response, click here.

26/10/18