The Department’s children in need annual census demonstrates an increase between 2011-12 and 2015-16 of 27% in the number of Child Protection Plans at 31 March with the initial category of neglect as the form of abuse (from 18,220 to 23,150). Over the same period there was an increase of
19 per cent in the number of children in need at 31 March with the primary need of ‘abuse or neglect’ (from 168,270 to 199,720), although this cannot be disaggregated to identify neglect needs only. These figures are in the context of general increases of 17 per cent with regard to Child Protection Plans at 31 March and 7 per cent with regard to children in need at 31 March.
We recognise the great importance of identifying hidden abuse, including in the form of neglect, and continue to fund the NSPCC to deliver the Childline service, with £8 million invested to 2020. We have also delivered a major communications campaign, Together, we can tackle child abuse, to raise awareness and encourage the members of the public to raise concerns. Through our wide-ranging reforms to children’s social care, we are working to ensure all forms of abuse, including neglect, are identified early, with timely and proportionate assessments of individual needs, and the right services provided at the right time to keep children safe.