‘Unexplained’ injuries partly to blame for rise of children in care

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Children with ‘unexplained’ injuries are part of the reason for a spike in the number of youngsters being taken into care in South Tyneside.

By the end of last year (2017/18) there were 319 looked-after children in the borough, up by 16% from the year before.

Numbers have also been increasing nationally for several years.

But South Tyneside had largely bucked the trend until last year, according to a report prepared for members of South Tyneside Council’s People Select Committee, who will consider the issue on Tuesday (September 4).

The figures showed that, of children taken into care in 2017/18, they tended to be younger than in previous years and that intervention was more likely to be due to safeguarding concerns, such as unexplained injuries.

The paper added: “The rising number of children looked after needs to be seen in the context of overall rise in activity across the service.

“Safeguarding activity has increased by 30% [since] September 2017 which was the date of the last inspection.”

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service