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 the end of quarter 3 2020/21, there were 478 Looked After Children at the end of December. This is a 19.8% increase over year end 19/20.
In 2019/20 there were an average of 9 new looked after children per month, which has increased to 17 in 2020/21. More children have started to be looked after during quarter three than during the same period last year, indicating an increase in the complexity of cases entering social care.
The rate of children looked after has increased during quarter 3 to 79.7 children per 10,000 Under 18s. National reports indicate that local authorities across the country have experienced an increased rate of Looked After Children during the Covid 19 emergency.
The latest available comparator data for 2019/20 (published Dec 20) shows the Statistical Neighbour average per 10,000 as (60.4) West Midlands (82) England average (67) similar to the Shropshire rate of (66) as at March 2020.