JSNA > Starting Well

The Children Act 1989 defines a Child in Need as a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision of services by a local authority.

Local authorities also have a responsibility to respond to all children who are identified as being in need, or in need of protection. This means that children and young people who are suffering from harm, abuse and neglect are quickly identified and the information is shared appropriately to afford them protection and ensure access to appropriate services in line with their assessed need.

  • As at 31st March 2022, the Children in Need rate in County Durham was 372 per 10,000. This is significantly lower than regional (470.7) and statistical neighbour (444.8) benchmarks but higher than England (334.3). Locally there was little change in this rate between 2018 (355) and 2020 (350) but there has been an uptick for 2021 and 2022 which is reflected in regional, statistical neighbour and national benchmarks.
  • 84% of Children in Need have a primary need of abuse/neglect in comparison to 57% nationally.
  • In 2021:
    • Around 22% of our Children in Need had SEN Support. This is comparable to regional (20.2%), statistical neighbour (20.4%) and national benchmarks (20.9%). There has been little change over time locally or in any benchmark areas.
    • 73% of our Children in Need were eligible for Free School Meals, this is higher than regional (65.2%), statistical neighbour (63.8%) and national benchmarks (56.8%). This has been rising faster in County Durham than regionally and nationally.
  • The rate of children on a CPP has increased over the last year to be higher than national levels.

Trends in CPP tend to be cyclical and numbers will likely reduce over the next six months. The overall number of open cases remains steady but growing numbers of Children on a Child Protection Plan and in Care are illustrative of increasingly complex caseloads within the service.

  • In County Durham, the primary reason for children becoming subject to a child protection plan is as a result of neglect and the likelihood of neglect (75.5% as at 31st March 2017).

The documents we publish on this page are either legally required to be made available for inspection, for information and analysis purposes or may have been supplied by the public and so in some cases may not be fully accessible. If, for any reason, you cannot access the documents and need an alternative format, please email ina@durham.gov.uk.


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