Children: Social Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th September 2020.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many referrals there have been to children’s social care in each month since March 2020.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department has undertaken a new Vulnerable Children and Young People Survey which has collected data from local authorities in England since May 2020. It includes data on contact with children supported by children’s social care, workforce, cost and system pressures. The report includes the number of referrals to children’s social care and referral source. Findings from the survey are published monthly and are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vulnerable-children-and-young-people-survey.

The attached table shows the data we have collected from the survey on the number of referrals to children’s social care services between May and August. The survey collects data fortnightly and asks for the number of referrals received over a one-week period, meaning there are gaps in the data. The total number of referrals to children’s social care received over a full month is not held.

Figures on the number of referrals and referral source are also published annually in the characteristics of children in need statistical release. The latest published data relates to the period up to 31 March 2019. The statistics are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-children-in-need.

The department has been working closely with local authorities to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, setting up dedicated regional teams that are in frequent contact. Bringing together expertise from across the department, these teams monitor the challenges that local authorities are facing, including any increases in demand, and can provide support and guidance where appropriate.

95070_table (xls, 54.5KB)

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