Many councils 'have no system to collect neglect data'

Many councils do not know how many children in their area are likely to suffer from neglect, according to a charity.

New research by Action for Children suggests that around 60% of local authorities do not have systems in place to collect information that would give early warning signs that youngsters are being neglected.

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Failing to collect data 'devastating impact' on neglect

The Department for Education has admitted that councils need to gather information to spot early signs of neglect, after a report suggested around 60% of local authorities were missing key structures to address the situation.

We agree that councils need to gather information to spot the early signs of neglect, which can have devastating consequences for the most vulnerable.

[We] are overhauling the training and evaluation of social workers to give trainees the expertise they need to tackle neglect. We have also given the NSPCC over £11 million to run a comprehensive 24/7 advice and reporting service for those who have concerns about a child, and are developing training materials with the sector to help improve practice in this area.

– Spokeswoman, Department for Education

Families need help early 'to stop child neglect'

Lack of information gathering is putting children's lives at further risk, the chief executive of Action for Children has said, after a report from the charity suggested that around 60% of councils did not have adequate systems in place to give early warning signs over whether youngsters are being neglected.

This is unacceptable when we know more can be done - we cannot allow the suffering of any child. Neglect can be stopped in its tracks.

Families need help as early as possible so they can make positive changes in their lives, transforming their and their children's stories by being the best parents they can be.

– Sir Tony Hawkhead, Action for Children chief executive

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Councils 'unaware' of how many children 'neglected'

Many councils do not know how many children in their area are likely to suffer from neglect, according to a charity.

New research by Action for Children suggests that around 60% of local authorities do not have systems in place to collect information that would give early warning signs that youngsters are being neglected.

Councils 'unaware' of how many children 'neglected' in their area Credit: ITV News

Gathering this information can help councils ensure that children and families get help to prevent future problems, the charity said.

Data obtained from 80 English councils through a Freedom of Information request made by Action for Children found 48 (60%) said other than statistics on the number of children known to them through child protection plans, they used no other mechanisms to find out how many youngsters in their area are at risk or experiencing neglect. No London councils were approached as part of the FoI request.

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