This statistical publication provides the latest information on children referred to children’s social care, assessments carried out upon those children and whether a child became the subject of a child protection plan.
All figures in this publication are derived from information collected in the children in need census. The Department for Education has been collecting the children in need census from local authorities for each full 12 month period since 2009-10. When a child is referred to children’s social care, an assessment is carried out to identify if the child is in need of services, which local authorities have an obligation to provide under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. These services can include, for example, family support (to help keep together families experiencing difficulties), leaving care support (to help young people who have left local authority care), adoption support or disabled children’s services (including social care, education and health provision).