Safeguarding Pressures Phase 8

Source ADCS 14th December 2022


The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) has released the second part of its Safeguarding Pressures Phase 8, reporting an increase in safeguarding activity in all local authorities over the past two years, including a significant increase in section 47 enquiries although fewer are converting to initial child protection conferences, and fewer children are subjects of children protection plans. On the care system it notes:

  • As more children require specialist support, together with the instability in the placement market, the challenges LAs face to provide the right homes for children in care at an affordable price are becoming ever greater.
  • Respondents were of the view that there were never, or rarely, enough LA foster placements (35%) or welfare secure placements (91%), and 58% have used an unregulated placement as an alternative.
  • Fewer children in care as at 31st March 2022 are placed for adoption, and more are placed in independent living, a fostering placement with relative or friend, and in residential accommodation. The proportion placed in own LA provision, notably foster care and residential care, has reduced. LAs are consequently creating costly bespoke packages or paying significantly more for placements, which are often at a distance.
  • Many were sceptical that regional care cooperatives were the solution [to sufficiency problems]. Local solutions to the placement crisis are being implemented, where possible, but there was an overwhelming view from respondents that an urgent intervention from national government is required.

Safeguarding Pressures phase 8 report draws on qualitative and quantitative data from 125 local authorities, covering 83% of England’s child population, to evidence and better understand changes in demand for, and provision of, children’s social care. It provides an insight into the first two years of the pandemic period, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2022, and shows that the impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt in children’s lives, local communities and in public services. This, together with existing data, provides an insight into the safeguarding related pressures currently facing children’s services across the country.

ADCS has used data included in the ADCS Safeguarding Pressures Phase 8 research to develop a supplementary thematic report on children’s mental health – find out more.


To accompany the latest report, ADCS has updated the timeline which illustrates the events and changes that impact on safeguarding children and young people in England. This update now includes a detailed timeline of Covid-19 related events and changes.

RELATED READING

LGA responds to ADCS safeguarding report:

“These figures highlight the increasing numbers of vulnerable children in need of vital support and the huge pressures on council services”, said Cllr Louise Gittins, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board.

Read full piece at source: LGA responds to ADCS safeguarding report

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