Children: Merseyside

Department for Education written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the increase in the number of looked after children, child protection plans and children in need throughout (a) Wirral and (b) Liverpool City Region in the last five years.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department publishes information on looked-after children, child protection plans and children in need in local authorities, including those within Wirral and Liverpool, in the local authority interactive tool. This can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-interactive-tool-lait.

There are a range of factors that contribute to trends in demand for children’s social care including deprivation in different local authorities. The most deprived local authorities have more looked-after children (per 10,000 0 to 17-year-olds), and these rates have grown faster than the least deprived local authorities. The most common factors that present themselves in children’s social care assessments are domestic abuse and mental health. Data on this is available in table C3 of the statistical release ‘Characteristics of children in need 2017 to 2018’ at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need-2017-to-2018.

In preparation for the Spending Review, to help ensure decisions are based on the best available evidence, the government is working with the sector to develop a sharper and more granular picture of demand for children’s services.

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