Skip to content
The fourth annual state of the nation report How Safe are our Children? takes an overview of the child protection landscape and compiles the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across each of the four nations in the UK.
How Safe are our Children 2016 comes at a time when we are reflecting on ChildLine’s 30th year – and opportunity to consider the changes that have taken place over the decades from both the child’s and the service’s perspective. Thirty years ago most of the contacts came via traditional red telephone boxes on the sides of roads. Now the majority of our counselling sessions take place online. The all-pervasive nature of the internet means that young lives online and offline cannot be separated out. Child safety online needs to be a fundamental consideration in the Child Line services – and everyone else’s. Understanding and responding to risk online is essential. Educating children and families in staying safe online is a crucial part of the answer but industry and government have responsibilities too. In 2015, the number of URLS containing children sexual abuse images identified by the Internet Watch Foundation was up 118 per cent on a year ago. This will need global prioritisation to be tackled effectively. This year has also seen the highest number of sexual offences against children reported to the police in the past decade.
How Safe are our Children not only enables us to understand the extent to which children within the UK are being abused and neglected but it enables us to track progress and see how the child protection landscape is changing. This year it is striking that, following more than a decade in decline, suicide rates for young people have started to rise in England. We’ve also seen a rise in the number of Childline counselling sessions about both low mood and suicidal feelings. Understanding better the pressures that are prompting children to express such misery, understanding how we should act to help counter whatever triggers low levels of self-worth and increased levels of suicidal feelings – these are all crucial issues on which we must work together to address with young people themselves.
This report describes the result of a survey of LSCB's under taken in 2015, which aimed to consider the effectiveness of local arrangements to protect disabled children and, in particular, progress in light of the Ofsted recommendations
New research on neglect
Neglect is the most common reason for a child to be on a child protection plan in England (Department for Education, 2015a). Research by the NSPCC indicates that one in 10 young adults (9 per cent) were severely neglected by parents or guardians during childhood (Radford et al, 2011). Child neglect can have a profound and long-lasting detrimental impact on a child’s development and can, at its worst, result in a child’s death (Brandon et al, 2013). As such, neglect is a prolific and pressing challenge for policy makers, practitioners and society as a whole.
Providing children and families with help at an early stage prevents children from suffering unnecessary harm, improves their long-term outcomes and is more cost effective than reactive services. Governments in the UK have recognised the benefits of focusing on preventative rather than reactive services and have pledged their support for this goal, but there is a need to ensure that this rhetoric is translated into practice in the current economic climate
Below is the executive summary inclusive of interesting data
Supporting professionals to meet the needs of young people with learning disabilities who experience or at risk of, child sexual exploitation
The NSPCC has published an updated guidance for professionals involved with children and young people in sport
The report covers:
Merton SCB Administrators
Children, Schools and Families Department
Tel: 020 8545 4866
This page was last updated on Monday 31 October 2016