NSPCC Helpline Reveals Surge in Calls

Figures released by children’s charity NSPCC have revealed alarming increases in the number of people contacting them with concerns over children’s welfare. In two reports the NSPCC revealed a 53% rise in calls about children living in violent homes, and separately announced a 66% increase in calls regarding children living with parents who regularly misuse drugs or alcohol.

In the period from April to December 2020 the NSPCC helpline received 8,371 contacts from people concerned about children living in households where domestic violence was present. The calls peaked at 1,053 in November alone, and averaged over 30 calls a day during the nine month period.

In addition, drug or alcohol abuse by parents was cited an average of 1,178 times a month in calls to the NSPCC, compared with 700 calls on average prior to March 2020. Although this may not lead to direct abuse inflicted on the child, drink and drug abuse by a parent can in the long term lead them to mental, psychological and physical illness. This in turn can have a detrimental effect on the parents’ ability to provide a safe and loving home, with their unpredictable and chaotic lifestyle leading to neglect and other child welfare issues.

It is likely that the increased number of people working from home or on furlough due to the Covid pandemic means that neighbours are more likely to hear shouting or aggressive behaviour coming from next door, or to witness abuse at first hand.

Kim Thandi, Head of NSPCC Helpline said: “At the NSPCC helpline we’ve not only seen a rise in contacts and referrals but we’re also seeing families who weren’t previously known to children’s services requiring help and support for substance abuse. The pressures on families at the moment are unprecedented and it is no surprise that our helpline is hearing that parents and carers are struggling with substance misuse.”

The Children and Family Law departments at Bretherton Law have been helping families in Hertfordshire for over 50 years, offering professional, experienced and sympathetic advice to those in need. We are proud to be accredited by the Law Society in Family and Children Law, and are members of Resolution, the organisation representing family lawyers and other professionals in the field.

Contact Kelly Hicks on 01727 869293, or via the contact form below.

Related contact. To contact go to NSPCC.