LOCKDOWN 3: JANUARY 2021
WillisPalmer is continuing to provide our expert social work and psychological services during lockdown. We are utilising technology alongside safe working practices in line with government guidance to enable us to continue supporting vulnerable children and families.

Call 01206 878178 to discuss your requirements.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Referrals down by 20% during latest lockdown

Referrals to children’s social care fell by more than 20% in January during the latest national lockdown, official Department for Education statistics has shown.

The Ofsted chief inspector warned before Christmas that child abuse could be going undetected and the latest DfE figures show that referrals between 25 and 31 January 2021 was 23% lower than the usual number of referrals at that time of year.

“In Wave 19 (25 - 31 January), the total number of referrals was 23% lower than a three year average of the same week across 2017 to 2020; this is similar to 22% lower during Wave 18,” said the report.

The total number of referrals to children’s social care services reported in Waves 1 to 19 of the survey was 195,030, this is around 10% lower than an average of the same weeks during 2017-20.

The first wave began on 27 April to 3 May.

Due to schools only being open to the children of key workers and vulnerable children during the latest wave, referrals from schools were 57% lower than usual, similar to the first wave of national restrictions in 2020. However, unlike the first wave of national restrictions, referrals from the police were lower than usual levels in Wave 19 and were 10% less while referrals from individuals were also 22% lower than usual during the latest wave of the survey.

In parts of the survey where respondents could provide open text responses, there were very mixed experiences in the numbers of referrals received across local authorities. Some local authorities reported that referrals to children’s social care had, in fact, increased and were now at levels higher than average.

Others report that referrals remained lower than average or as expected at this time of year. In the latest survey waves 18 and 19 (January and February) the mixed experiences in the number of referrals received continue but slightly more local authorities revealed that their referral numbers have fallen like they did back in March during the early stages of the (COVID-19) pandemic.

The data also revealed that the total number of looked after children was 2% higher than the same time in 2019-20 and the total number of children on a child protection plan (CPP) was around the same as 2019- 20.

It also showed that:

- 73% of looked after children had been in contact with a social worker in the previous four weeks

- 95% of children on a CPP had been in contact with a social worker in the previous four weeks

- 65% of children in need (CIN) had been in contact with a social worker in the previous four weeks

The proportion of social workers not working due to coronavirus (COVID-19) has stabilised, with 4% of local authorities reporting over 10% of social workers unavailable due to COVID-19 in waves 18 and 19. The lowest point was in Wave 16 on 14-16 December 2020 when 1% of local authorities reported more than 10% of social workers were unable to work due to COVID and the highest point of 13% was in May 2020.

The proportion of local authorities reporting over 10% of their residential care staff unable to work due to coronavirus (COVID19) has decreased to 17% in Wave 19, compared to 21% in Wave 18 (25 – 27 January).

The DfE established a survey of local authorities in England to help understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on Children’s Social Care. Local authorities are asked to report to DfE every two weeks with the exception of four weeks between Waves 7 and 8 and Waves 16 and 17 on contact with children supported by the local authority children’s social care, the workforce and system pressures.

Vulnerable Children and Young People Survey Summary of returns Waves 1 to 19


Make an enquiry

A multi-disciplinary organisation providing independent, high quality social work and psychological services. Contact us with your requirements and speak to a member of our team who will help you today.
Make an Enquiry

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Practice guidelines to accompany legislative changes on siblings in care

18/04/2021

CELCIS is seeking views to feed into practice guidelines which will accompany some legislative changes to uphold the rights and meet the needs of brothers and sisters with care experience.

Changes are being made to Section 13 of the Children (Scotland) 2020 Act, and the Looked After Children (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 and most of these [...]

Read Full Story

Working households no guarantee for lifting families out of poverty

18/04/2021

Having an adult in the household in paid work is not sufficient to raise some families out of child poverty in Scotland, official statistics have shown.

While the risk of poverty is much lower for children where someone in the household is in paid work compared to those in workless households, not all work pays enough [...]

Read Full Story

£280 million boost for SEND provision

15/04/2021

The government has announced £280 million funding for special educational needs and disabilities provision.

The funding will be allocated to local authorities to enable them to create new places in early years settings, schools, academies and colleges. The funding can be used to contribute to the cost of creating a whole new special school, or by [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram