How safe are our children? 2015 The most comprehensive overview of child protection in the UK

Boy in gardenOur report compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the 4 nations in the UK for 2015.

The report sets out 20 different indicators. Each indicator looks at the question of 'how safe are our children?' from a different perspective. They also include historic data, to help track progress over time.

Authors: Sonja Jutte, Holly Bentley, Dan Tallis, Julia Mayes, Natasha Jetha, Orla O’Hagan, Helen Brookes, Nicola McConnell
Published: 2015

More support is needed for the victims of abuse
We’ve seen a rise in the number of people coming forward about their experiences of abuse. The support must match this increased willingness to speak out. Victims of child abuse need more therapeutic support, and age-appropriate support at every stage of the criminal justice process.

We must not lose sight of neglect
While child sexual exploitation is dominating the media, it’s important to remember that neglect remains the most common form of child abuse across the UK. We need to continue to gather evidence into what works in tackling neglect.

Early intervention is key
We need to intervene early to address problems before they become more serious and entrenched. By intervening early we can protect children more effectively and save money.

  • All 4 countries in the UK have seen the number of recorded sexual offences against children increase over the last year.
  • There’s been an increase in contacts to the NSPCC helpline and ChildLine about sexual abuse.
  • Neglect remains the most common form of child abuse in the UK.
  • The number of children dying as a result of homicide or assault remains in long term decline.
Overview 6
Measuring the extent of abuse and neglect in the UK 12
Indicator 1: Child homicides recorded by police includes the offences of murder, manslaughter and infanticide 18
Indicator 2: Child mortality deaths by assault and undetermined intent 20
Indicator 3: Child suicides 24
Indicator 4: Number of recorded sexual offences against children 28
Indicator 5: Number of recorded cruelty and neglect offences 32
Indicator 6: Self-reported prevalence of abuse and neglect 34
Indicator 7: Contacts with ChildLine 36
Indicator 8: Contacts with the NSPCC helpline 38
Indicator 9: Online harm 42
Indicator 10: Violent incidents experienced by 10 to 15 year olds 46
Indicator 11: Referrals to social services 48
Indicator 12: Children in need 52
Indicator 13: Children in the child protection system 54
Indicator 14: Composition of child protection plans and child protection registers 58
Indicator 15: Re-registration onto child protection registers returning to a child protection plan 62
Indicator 16: How long children are subject to child protection plans or the child protection register 66
Indicator 17: Looked-after children 68
Indicator 18: Proportion of looked-after children who have three or more placements during the year 72
Indicator 19: Child trafficking 76
Indicator 20: Public attitudes to child abuse and neglect 80
Glossary 84
Endnotes 88

"Only by monitoring the extent of child abuse and neglect in the UK can we judge whether efforts to prevent maltreatment and to protect children are working."

Discover the key messages in our Prezi

Please cite as: Jutte, S. et al (2015)  How safe are our children? The most comprehensive overview of child protection in the UK. London: NSPCC.

More reports in the How safe are our children? series

How safe are our children? 2016

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How safe are our children? 2014

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How safe are our children? 2013

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