Childrens Social Care

Childrens Social Care

Children in need of care and protection

The numbers of referrals to Children’s Social Care peaked in Bradford in mid-2009 with just under 600 referrals per 10,000 children following the high profile deaths of children elsewhere in the UK. There has since been a reduction in demand for higher-level social work interventions below the national rate, with referrals over the past few years remaining at about 350 per 10,000 children. In 2015/16 there was an increase to 5,549 referrals (396 per 10,000 children); however this is still considerably below the most recently published England average of 548 referrals per 10,000 children  (31st March 2015).

Bradford has lower than average numbers of children recorded by social care as ‘Children in Need’. However, once open, cases tend to remain open longer. The total number of ‘Children in Need’ in Bradford during 2015/16 was 8,537. Of the 3,848 children’s cases open at 31 March 2016, about 40% were of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) origin (where ethnic origin was recorded).

A smaller proportion of children in Bradford become the subject of a Child Protection Plan compared to national rates. The rate had risen sharply in 2014 to 41.7 per 10,000 children, but fell again in 2015 to 36.9 per 10,000 children.

The number had fallen slightly further at 31st March 2016 to 36.5 per 10,000 children, well below the most recently published England average of 42.9 per 10,000 children  (31st March 2015).

The number of children being looked after as at 31 March 2016 was 848, a rate of 60.6 children per 10,000 children; in line with the national rate of 60 per 10,000 but below the statistical neighbour average of 78 per 10,000. The number of Looked After Children in Bradford fell slightly during the year 2015-16 compared to 2014-15 of 878.

Key messages

  • Referrals to social care services for children are below national rates.
  • The total number of ‘Children in Need’ in Bradford during 2015/16 was 8,537.
  • The number of children being looked after as at 31 March 2016 was 848.