Child risk figures see a fall

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

NEW figures reveal there has been a slight fall in the number of youngsters subject to child protection plans in Hartlepool.

Children placed on plans are at serious risk of neglect, abuse or significant harm and the intensive support package ensures children see doctors regularly, get to school safely and have someone to talk to.

In Hartlepool, the number of children subject to a plan at the end of June was 136, compared with 141 the month before.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s children’s services committee met recently to discuss the latest figures, which show the vast majority are aged between one and nine, with 28 aged between 10 and 15 and one aged over 16.

A report by Wendy Rudd, head of the safeguarding, assessment and support unit at the council, said: “Neglect continues to account for the highest proportion of child protection plans in Hartlepool.

“At June 30 June, 108 children were subject to a protection plan due to the risk of neglect, physical abuse accounted for 12 children, whilst emotional abuse accounted for 12 children and the remaining four children were subject to a child protection plan due to risk of sexual abuse.

“During the first quarter of the year there were no children who became subject to a child protection plan for a second or subsequent time.”

At the end of June there were 188 looked after children and of those children, the local authority shared parental responsibility for 92 children.

Of the 188 children, 158 are placed in foster care and the remaining 30 children and young people are placed in residential care or education, with parents or another person with parental responsibility, placed for adoption or living independently.

Figures show that the total population of under 18s living in Hartlepool is currently 20,500 and of those, 1,076 children and young people receive support from children’s social care.