The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has published a report claiming that in March, 2017, there were almost 20,000 babies under one year old identified by local authorities as being “in need”. Entitled “A Crying Shame”, the report states that around a quarter of these babies were currently being looked after by social services, cared for by other parties, or had been adopted, leaving 15,800 vulnerable infants who continued to live at home in an environment where there was a serious risk of harm. These figures are likely to have remained at this level, and equate to around 100 vulnerable babies per local authority.
Babies continue to appear disproportionately in serious case reviews, since of the 50,000 children aged 0-5 living in households where the ‘toxic trio` of domestic violence, drug or alcohol dependency, and mental health issues are present, over 8,000 are babies under one year old. Children living in these households are at serious risk of harm, yet figures show that only around 40% of affected children are likely to be on child protection plans drawn up by local authorities.
Author of the report, Alice Miles, said; “This analysis suggests there are many thousands of babies living in households carrying very high risks, many of whom may not even be known to social services. We know infants are especially vulnerable to being harmed by parental abuse or neglect. The country is rightly shocked and outraged when serious case reviews reveal the circumstances in which young children live and sometimes die; however, sadly these are the tip of the iceberg.”
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 in Family and Children Law by the Law Society and Resolution, are the organisation representing family lawyers and other professionals in the field.
If you have concerns about child welfare or abuse, contact us on 01727 869293, or via the contact form below.
To see the report of the Children’s Commissioner in full go to: ‘It’s a Crying Shame’