The Hartlepool area with the most number of children ending up in care - and the plans to help

The area of Hartlepool which sees the most children in need of social care will see a new system trialled to help the increasing number of vulnerable young people in the town.

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 11:39 am

The Victoria ward in Hartlepool has been highlighted as having the greatest level of need for children’s social care.

Council analysis found 34% of the children in the care of the council come from Victoria ward, more than double any other ward in Hartlepool.

Now the council officers have chosen the area to pilot a ‘whole system’ approach to safeguarding children and supporting families under a new multi-disciplinary team.

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Hartlepool Civic Centre
Hartlepool Civic Centre

Sally Robinson, director of children’s and commissioning services, said Hartlepool has seen ‘demand increase substantially year on year’ and warned many factors are outside of their control’.

She said: “Many of the factors that influence demand for children’s services are driven by issues that are often outside the scope of children’s services and sometimes the council to influence.

“Such factors include issues such as deprivation, child poverty, parental and domestic violence, substance misuse and mental health issues.

“The proposed pilot aims to reduce the demand placed upon children’s services by working in a multi-disciplinary way to address the adult issues which impact on the care and protection of their children.

“We’ll be looking to meet the needs of the whole family within a single team rather than having a number of hand-off referrals.”

The new team will be made up of children’s social workers, an adult’s social worker, substance misuse worker and a domestic abuse worker.

They will all be based together in Community Hub Central and working in partnership with the Hub offer.

The 2019 Office of National Statistics Index of Multiple Deprivation release shows Hartlepool is now ranked the 10th most deprived area in the country compared with a ranking of 17th in 2015.

Since 2015 the council has seen a 77% increase in the number of looked after children, a rise of 127.