20th Oct, 2019

25,000 child abuse concerns reported in Warwickshire

Laura Kearns 14th Sep, 2019

CHILD abuse concerns were reported 25,000 times across Warwickshire in the past year.

Warwickshire County Council’s annual safeguarding report revealed a 5,000 rise in concerns about children compared to 2015 – but figures had not changed significantly from last year. Most worries were raised by schools or police.

Some 2,300 of the reports related to domestic violence while 1,700 were about mental health, 900 regarding concerns around drug misuse, 200 about sexual abuse, 30 about trafficking and six relating to female genital mutilation.

Three child cases were classed as ‘serious’ – where a child has died or been seriously injured due to abuse or neglect.

A council spokeswoman said: “Sadly, we have had a number of complex and high-profile reviews to undertake in children’s services and this serves as a reminder that despite living in an affluent and pleasant county there are still children suffering severely from neglect and abuse.”

Concerns about adults were raised 2,700 times, with 160 of these incidents allegedly happening in the victims home. Nearly 20 happened in care homes.

In around 270 cases were by people known to the victim and 20 by social care staff.

Most of the victims were women and some 60 people who were targeted had mental health issues.

To improve safeguarding across the county the council has recently launched a new ‘joined-up’ model which sees the children and adult boards integrated into a single body called Safeguarding Warwickshire.

Council chiefs say the model – which will come into effect from the end of September – will avoid duplication of services and improve outcomes.

County council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “The new safeguarding model is great news for Warwickshire. We have always worked with the police and our health partners to safeguard children and adults, but the new model will enable closer partnership working, improved information sharing and less risk of duplication.

“Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our residents is one of our priorities as a county council and so we’re very pleased to be part of a multi-agency innovation to help children, families and adults stay healthy, resilient and safe.”

Visit www.safeguardingwarwickshire.co.uk to find out more.

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