Children and Young People Now: An increasing proportion of children are subject to official child protection investigations before their fifth birthday, despite a drop in the number of probes uncovering abuse or neglect, an academic has found.
Professor Andy Bilson of the University of Central Lancashire used Freedom of Information requests to collect information on child protection and adoption rates of children born in 2006/07 and 2011/12 across 70 local authorities.
The data showed that children born in 2011/12 were 35 per cent more likely to have a section 47 investigation before they turn five compared with 2006/07 children. In total 6.4 per cent of children born in 2011/12 had a section 47 investigation, compared with 4.7 per cent of children born in 2006/07.
Bilson said: “It’s a frightening increase and although there has been a big increase in investigations, fewer of them are finding abuse than they did in the past.
“In other words, more children are being put through an investigation that doesn’t lead to a child protection plan and more parents are being put through the wringer.”