NSPCC reports spike in referrals to police or child services during lockdown

The NSPCC says the number of referrals it has made to the police and child services in the Midlands has seen a 'sharp rise' in the last 12 months.

What is a referral?

Referrals are made when concerns reported to the helpline are considered serious enough to warrant further investigation.


In the West Midlands:

There were 6,749 referrals made by the helpline to external agencies in the region in2020/21 – a 47% increase compared to 2019/20. The top reasons for referrals being made relate to parental and adult health and behaviour leading to 2,513 referrals to West Midlands based agencies.

This includes worries about parental alcohol and substance misuse, domestic abuse andparental mental health.

47%

increase in referrals in West Midlands compared to 2019/20.


In the East Midlands:

There were 4,537 referrals made by the helpline to external agencies in the region in2020/21 – a 32% increase compared to 2019/20. The top reasons for referrals being made were also with concerns relating to parentaland adult health and behaviour leading to 1,617 referrals to East Midlands based agencies.This includes worries about parental alcohol and substance misuse, domestic abuse andparental mental health.

32%

increase in referrals in East Midlands compared to 2019/20.

The children's charity says it is concerned the hidden harms children experienced during the lockdowns will become visible as the majority of children return to school.

Interview with Helen Westerman, NSPCC.


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