THE rate of applications to take children into care fell in two-thirds of authorities in our region in the last two years, according to latest figures.
Statistics released by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service show the number of care applications received per 10,0000 children living in each local authority.
The numbers run from 2008-09, the year of the tragic Peter Connelly (known as “Baby Peter”) case in Haringey, to 2013-14.
They show that over this period the national rate of application rose from 5.9 in 2008-09 to 9.7 in 2012-13 (a rise of 64 per cent) but that it has dropped to 9.2 in 2013-14. This is lower than 2012-13 levels but is still higher than 2011-12 levels.
In the North-East and North Yorkshire 10 out of 15 local authorities saw the rate of care applications fall, in line with national trends.
The biggest fall in care applications was in Stockton – which saw the rate fall from 24.8 per 10,000 children to 12.4 per cent.
There were other significant falls in South Tyneside, where it dropped from 24.1 to 13.6 and in Darlington where the rate fell from 19.6 per 10,000 children to 13.
The biggest increase in the rate of care applications was in Newcastle, where the rate increased from 10.1 to 14.5 per 10,000 children.
North Yorkshire saw a small decrease in the rate from 7.1 per 10,000 children to 5.5.
Alison O’Sullivan, vice president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services said:
“Local authorities continue to look at the data in detail and analyse what their local figures are telling them. We know that most local authorities saw a rise in care proceedings following the tragic death of Peter Connolly and that a levelling off of the rise was to be expected.”