Domestic violence revealed as main reason Northamptonshire children are referred to social services

Library picture
Library picture

The number of children known to social services in Northamptonshire has reached more than 11,000, according to new figures from the NSPCC.

Statistics, which form part of a national report, shows the reasons why youngsters were referred to social services.

In total, 4,242 cases were relating to domestic violence, 2,791 cases were because of mental health issues and sexual exploitation was the reason in 353, the study has revealed.

Across the country, the number of children who in are need has increased to 394,400, a rise of 25,000 since 2012.

Nearly a third of those referred to social services (30.6%) were aged 10 – 15, and nearly a quarter (23.6%) were under the age of five.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “It’s troubling that the number of children in need has increased, particularly as a significant portion of those being referred are under the age of five.

“The fact that mental health was identified as a factor in more than a third of cases highlights why more than ever we need swift and appropriate help for those who are suffering with mental health issues.

“Mental health problems can be devastating whether they affect the child in need, or their family members at home.

“We also know that nine in ten children who have been abused go on to suffer mental health problems before they reach the age of 18. The NSPCC’s It’s Time campaign has called on the Government to provide improved mental health support for children who have experienced abuse to help them understand and recover from their experiences.”

Any child struggling with mental health, whether their own or the mental health of a loved one, can call Childline on 0800 11 11.

For adults with concerns about a child, the NSPCC’s free helpline provides a place they can get advice and support, share their concerns or get general information about child protection. Adults can contact the helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0808 800 5000, by texting 88858 or visiting www.nspcc.org.uk