Rate of Looked After Children rate per 10,000 population (0-17 years).
Demand has increased across all areas of safeguarding services with a further increase in the rate of Looked After Children.
This increase in demand relates to an increase in children requiring accommodation due to safeguarding concerns. Those concerns range from neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, substance misuse, parental mental health and domestic abuse. As such we have seen an increase in the number of care proceedings being initiated this year. The majority of children entering the care system do so subject to court proceedings. All children entering care are subject to senior management approval and we closely monitor and track all children
At year end for 2019/20, there were 399 looked after children in Shropshire.
This was an increase of 1% from the 395 children looked after at the end of 18/19.
During the year 20/21, there has been a further increase in the number of children looked after to 504 at the end of March. This 26.3% increase over year end 19/20, appears to be driven by a greater number of children with higher levels of need. In 19/20 there were an average of 9 new looked after children per month, which has increased to 16 in 20/21. During 19/20 an average of 8 children per month ceased being looked after, which has decreased to 7 during 20/21.
The rate of children looked after has increased to 84 children per 10,000 U18s. This is now higher than the 2019/20 SN average (60.4) and England average (67).