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Key Facts:

  • Overall rates of contacts and referrals to children’s social care have remained steady over the last 2 years
  • Referral rates per 10,000 (0-17 population) are lower than regional and national figures
  • In 2015-16 just over 15% of cases were re-referred within 12 months

What does the data say? 1

Contacts and Referrals to B&NES Council Childrens Specialist and Targeted Services – This Service is responsible for receiving, processing and assessing the contacts when there is a concern about a child or young person.

Overall rates of contacts and referrals to children’s social care have remained steady over the last 2 years.

Figure 1: number of CYP safeguarding contacts per month 2014-2016

The average number of contacts during 2015-16 is 113 with August, September and October bringing the average down. Education Services and Health Services (including School Nursing, RUH A&E, GPs and Health Visitors) made the most contacts, however in quarter four there was a rise in contacts from Housing agencies.

Figure 2: number of CYP safeguarding referrals per month 2014-2016 (contacts which progress to single assessment)

Figure 2 shows the number of referrals per month over the last two years. The average for this period is 90 referrals per month however there was a spike during this period in June 2015 which is consistent with a number of other LA’s in the region and nationally. The Family Justice Board reported that both June and July 2015 represented the all-time highest numbers of care applications to court across the country.

The 2015-16 per 10,000 (0-17 population) referral rate for B&NES is 294.6 compared to 475.2 for England and 468.9 for the South West region. This is significantly lower than national and regional figures but consistent with our demographic profile and with previous performance.

The majority of referrals have come from Avon and Somerset Constabulary (these have increased in comparison to the previous year), Schools, other Council Services, health partners and from family members / relatives or carers. This is similar to DfE reported national referral trends for 2015.

The percentage of cases that are re-referred within 12 months of closure has reduced over the last 3 years;

Figure 3: % cases re-referred within 12 months 2013-14 to 2015-16.