Children in need numbers highest since 2018, official data shows

As of March this year, there were 404,310 children classified as in need, up four per cent on the 388,490 recorded in 2021, according to the annual children in need census. The number of referrals to children’s social care departments also rose by nine per cent in the year to March 2022, to 650,270, which is in sharp contrast to the decrease in referrals made when lockdown measures were in place – last year’s census reported a 31 per cent decrease in referrals from schools. Referrals are now at their highest level since 2019, mainly due to an increase in referrals from schools, and re-referrals are also up three per cent on the previous year. Read more.

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