With the rising number of children taken into care by local authorities, pressure is rising on budgets, and is being overspent. Analysis conducted by the Local Government Association LGA found that 133 out of 152 councils responsible for children services overspent in 2017-2018. The budget was overspent by an estimated £807m.

Government data published in November found that the number of looked after children has increased every year since 2008. In 2008, there were approximately 60,000 children in care. Last year, there were 75,420.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, children’s social care was the highest area of overspending by local authorities, rising from £100m in 2011-2012, to £800m in 2017-2018.

Number of children in care for emotional abuse soars

The most common reason for children being taken into care by local authorities is through abuse or neglect. However, analysis of national care statistics shows that the use of emotion abuse as a reason for starting a child protection plan has increased by 164% since 2007-2008.

During 2016-2017, more than 14,000 children began a protection plan, due to emotional abuse. 600 more children started protection plans resulting in sexual abuse, and 750 more due to physical abuse.

Andy Bilson, professor of social work at University of Central Lancashire, who compiled the statistics, found that particular councils have higher increases in findings of emotional harm. In certain local authorises, there was a larger increase in children going into care than in other areas. These areas were Hackney, Sefton, Wirral, Wolverhampton, and Hampshire.

Study finds childhood abuse increases risk of adult suicide

New research led by Dr Maria Panagioti, from the University of Manchester, details that “All types of childhood abuse are associated with increased risk of suicide attempts and suicidal ideation in adults, independent of demographic, clinical and methodological variations across the studies.”

The data comes from research conducted by academics at both the University of Manchester and South Wales University, after analysing results of 68 previous studies from around the world.

The authors stated that the findings where comprehensive; reviewing experiences of 216,600 adults in countries including Canada, US, Italy, and the UK.

The study finds:

  • People who experience abuse as children are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide as adults
  • People who are sexually abused as children are three times more likely than others to attempt suicide as adults
  • Men and women are equally likely to idealise suicide, or act on suicidal impulses
  • Those not in contact with mental health services are at a greater risk

Dr Panagioti commented “One adult in every three has experienced abuse as a child. This study conclusively gives us solid evidence that childhood abuse and neglect is associated with increased likelihood that they will be at risk of suicide as adults.”

The chair of the child and adolescent faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr Bernadka Dubicka, said: “This study confirms the long-term, devastating effects of child abuse. Psychiatrists working on the frontline of mental health witness the damage this causes to children, adolescents and adults. Many children cannot get help early in their lives both to prevent them suffering abuse, and to start to recover from its consequences.”

How child abuse cases work

Abuse varies from sexual, physical, and psychological, to neglect:

  • Sexual: Rape, assault, any unwanted sexual behaviour, or force to perform acts
  • Physical: Physical injuries or punishments, or being restrained unnecessarily
  • Psychological: Fear of injury, emotional trauma associated with threatening behaviour, intimidation, insulting or humiliating behaviour
  • Neglect: Failure to provide protection from harm, failure to provide adequate food, water, heating, housing or access to medical care

Child abuse of any kind has profound effects in adult life, and needs to be dealt with correctly and safely. If you were a victim of child abuse, there are procedures and support systems available to you.

It is vital that any victim of child abuse, whether physical or emotional, to receive the right treatment and support facilities, in order to deal with the effects in a safe way. Organisations can include hospitals, community groups, local authorities, schools or even religious groups.

Many victims of abuse do not come forward until years after the abuse has taken place. This is common in child abuse cases; many factors prevent individuals coming forward for years.

Every child abuse case requires confidentiality and sensitivity. Although difficult, the reward of coming forward gives you the tools to proceed forward with your life, find new meaning, and gain answers.

All child abuse cases are dealt on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning it costs nothing to explore seeking justice for what you have endured in your past.

Every case is confidential, and you can even bring your claim through the court with your name anonymised: no one ever has to know, unless you want this as part of the healing process.

For more information, contact us on 0113 284 5000 or alternatively email Graham.Roberts@isonharrison.co.uk for a free confidential consultation.

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