‘Dramatic increase’ of children being placed on protection orders in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire County Council

Hertfordshire County Council - Credit: Archant

Hertfordshire has seen a dramatic increase in the number of children being placed on protection plans over the last year.

Hertfordshire has seen a dramatic increase in the number of children being placed on protection plans over the last year.

And Herts County Council now has almost 200 more children considered to be at risk of significant harm, bringing the total up from 885 in September 2013 to 1065 last month.

The increase of about 25 per cent was revealed at an annual Child Safe Guarding panel on Thursday.

Jenny Coles, the county council’s director of children’s services, said: “There is a rising demand for children coming on to child protection plans.


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“They have increased dramatically in particular areas.”

Mrs Coles also said there had been an increase in parental neglect and children coming from homes with domestic violence.

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Councillors asked if the increase was a result of the better reporting of problems or because there were more cases to be dealt with, to which she replied ‘a bit of both’.

“There are more cases and we are better at spotting it,” she said, adding that numbers had risen nationally as well.

Protection plans put in place when a child is judged to be at risk of significant harm – when their health, welfare and development is deemed to be under threat.

The plan will say what the specific risks are to the child and the actions that will be needed to keep them safe.

Each child who is put under an order is assigned a social worker.

A county council spokesman added: “There has been an increase in numbers of child protections plans in many other parts of the country and Hertfordshire, through the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board, ensures that agencies work together to support and protect children and families.”

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