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Domestic violence and substance abuse fuelling rise of children in care

Some 88 children a day are being taken into care in order to ensure their safety according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

Domestic violence and substance abuse in the family home are fuelling a massive rise in children being put under child protection plans, with the number involved increasing by 50% in the last decade.

Child protection plans are drawn up by a local authority setting out how a child can be kept safe, the family situation improved and the support the family needs to do so.

The LGA is warning that family conflict, along with hardship issues such as poverty and debt, is contributing heavily to the rise in the number of children needing protection.

A poll by the LGA of children’s services lead councils found that nearly two-thirds (64%) said that the number or complexity of children and young people receiving child protection support, or being taken into care, has increased “to a great extent” since 2015-16.

More than 80% said that an increase in family conflict, such as domestic abuse, substance misuse and offending, was a major factor in this increase.

And 70% said that an increase in family hardship, such as poverty, poor housing and debt, was a major factor.

Judith Blake, chairwoman of the LGA’s children and young people board, said: “Councils want to make sure that children can get the best, rather than just get by.

“Yet, funding pressures are coinciding with huge increases in demand for support because of problems like hardship and family conflict, which is making it increasingly difficult for them to do that.

“No family is immune to life’s challenges, and every family should feel safe in the knowledge that if they need it, help is there to get things back on track.

“If councils are to give children and families the help they need and deserve, it is vital they are fully funded.

“This is not just children’s services, but the breadth of support councils can provide, from public health to housing.”

The Department for Education (DfE) said councils will have access to £49.1bn in 2020-21, which includes an additional £1bn grant for adult and children’s social care. A further £84m is being invested in “evidence-based interventions” to improve the support provided to vulnerable children and their families.

“We want every single child to have the best start in life, with the opportunities and the stability to fulfil their potential,” a DfE spokesman said.

source:http://international-journal.com

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