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Wed, 06 Jul 22 11:59

Comment on LGA research on serious child harm cases

Commenting on serious child harm cases reported by councils, ADCS Vice President Steve Crocker said:

“This latest data on serious incident notifications over the past year is concerning but not surprising to local authorities whose staff are on the front line of child protection investigations. Sadly, the data illustrates the impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable children and young people and their families. For local authorities, protecting children and young people from harm is our most important role and we work with a range of partners to do this. The highest proportion of serious incident notifications continues to be for children under one; where safeguarding concerns arise about babies and very young children, their inability to tell us what has happened to them and how they feel adds an extra layer of complexity. Disrupted access to the formal and informal networks that children and families rely on, from health visitors to grandparents, have only heightened these challenges.

“Whilst local systems to support children and families remained in place throughout previous lockdowns, the challenges and pressures on their lives have been intensified. The past 18 months has highlighted a number of longstanding societal issues including ‘hidden harms,’ and it is clear that the safety and wellbeing of children and young people needs to be much higher in national planning and recovery.

“The forthcoming Spending Review provides an real opportunity to invest in local authority children’s services. The importance of being ambitious for children cannot be overstated. We must take a long-term view to investing in their lives so that we can provide support earlier, rather than intervening when a family has reached crisis point. ADCS continues to call for a vision for childhood, from the early years through school and adolescence to adulthood. This must be underpinned by a coherent and strategic cross-departmental long-term plan and resources, providing the connectivity and commitment at the national level that delivers for children.”


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