Following an analysis of serious case reviews covering 2009 to 2011, it has been found that child protection practices have improved although there is still a slight concern that a minority of cases were not investigated by social workers.
The analysis found that approximately 85 children die in England each year as a direct result of neglect or abuse. It was noted that in 14% of cases, a referral had been made but not accepted. One of the concerns about this figure comes from a belief that the thresholds for accepting referrals to children’s social care are being set too high.
The research, carried out by the University of East Anglia and the University of Warwick found that only 42% of children were receiving services from children’s social care at the time of a child’s death, 21% of children were not known to social working and the remaining 37% were cases which were closed or had not been accepted at the point of referral.
On a positive note, the analysis did find that the number of children dying at a time when they already had a child protection plan in place was reduced from 16% to 10%.