ADCS response to the NSPCC’s ‘How Safe Are Our Children?’...

Responding to the NSPCC’s ‘How Safe Are Our Children?’ report Alison Michalska, ADCS President, said:

“This report highlights an alarming rise in the number of reports of emotional abuse, this is very concerning for our members and their teams given what we know about the impact of abuse on children and young people’s emotional health and development, and the intergenerational effects of childhood trauma. Our own Safeguarding Pressures Phase 5 research found that emotional abuse, including domestic abuse, is sadly an increasingly common reason for a child becoming subject to a child protection plan. The effects of ‘the toxic trio’, of parental mental health, substance misuse and domestic abuse, continue to be a major and growing reason for involvement of children’s social care services too.

“The NSPCC suggest a nationwide study that looks at the prevalence of child abuse and neglect in the UK to help us gain a clearer picture of the extent of abuse in all its forms. If this proposal is taken forward then it’s important that the root causes are also explored. This would help us ensure that the support in place to protect victims and prevent abuse from happening in the first place is fit for purpose. Local authorities are working hard to keep more children safe with severely exhausted resources, but this is tougher now than ever before. With fundamental changes to our financing on the horizon, some local authorities will be forced to focus on statutory high-end services, with even more limited resources placing our ability to protect children at risk.”


The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Ltd is the professional leadership association for Directors of Children’s Services and their senior management teams in England.

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