Stockton JSNA

Children in need

What is the level of need in the population?

The rate of referrals to social care reduced by 6.5% over the 2013-14 period to a rate per 10,000 children of 701.7. Nationally the rate increased by 10.8% (to 573.0) and regionally by 12.3% (to 659.8). Our rate remains relatively high (3rd highest in the region, behind Northumberland then Middlesbrough). It should be noted that over half (53.5%) of referrals resulted in either ‘no further action’ or in an assessment following which the child was assessed not to be in need – this is a relatively high rate and above national and regional averages.

Looking at the overall CIN population, there were:

     2,304 CIN at 31st March 2013

     2,074 CIN at 31st March 2014

Based on the number of CIN at 31st March, as a rate per 10,000 children, our CIN population reduced from 2013 to 2014 by 9.8% (from 544.3 to 490.8) – this was counter to the national trend, with the England average increasing by 5.0% to 346.4; and the NE average up marginally by 1% to 456.7. At October 2014, our rate of CIN was 512.5, an increase from April but still below the 2013 rate.

Although our rate is higher than the regional average, this is not the case when compared with the Tees sub-region – Middlesbrough and Hartlepool have significantly higher rates (694.2 and 608.3) although R&C is lower (428.3). Recent regional benchmarking has indicated the nature of some of the challenges facing the Tees area. 

Interestingly, the rate of children starting an episode of need during the year has continued to be lower than national and regional averages (326.6 during 13/14, compared to England 372.6, and NE Region 434.4). This reflects part of an emerging picture whereby CIN in Stockton-on-Tees tend to remain in need longer than the average (see following point).

The duration of episodes of CIN which ceased during the year indicates the pattern of children remaining in need relatively longer. Looking at the % split of episodes of need under 1 year / over 1 year, this was:

     80% / 20% England

     75% / 25% NE

     58% / 42% SBC

     For episodes under 3 months, this was 49% England / 44% NE / 25% SBC.

The age profile of our CIN population is slightly younger – 59% under 10 yrs / 41% 10 yrs+; England average 53% / 47%.

The chart overleaf summarises data regarding factors identified, following social care assessments, as contributing to children being in need.

The rate of Section 47 Enquiries (i.e assessments under section 47 of the Children Act for children at risk of significant harm) reduced by 19.5% from 2013 to 2014, against the national trend (increased by 11.3% for England; and by 14.2% for the NE). However, our rate of S47s remains very high at 180.6 per 10,000 children – compared to 124.1 for England and 135.7 for the NE. We have the second highest rate in the NE behind Hartlepool.

A similar pattern is seen with child protection plans. There were 369 at 31st March 2013, reducing to 296 at 31st March 2014. The rate per 10,000 reduced by 19.6 % to 70.1. The rate nationally increased 12.1% to 42.1; regionally the rate increased 16.1% to 59.3. We have the third highest rate in the region (behind Redcar & Cleveland, then Middlesbrough).


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