The North East had by far the highest rate of children in need in the country throughout 2015-16, new national statistics reveal.
During this period, 8.22% of the children in our region were identified as children in need, compared to 6.67% in England.
However, the rate in the North East this year is the lowest it has ever been in the past five years, having reached its height in 2012-13 (9.12%).
The North East local authority with the highest rate of children in need was Northumberland at 11.4%; this is the sixth highest in the country and Middlesbrough is also in the top 10 nationally with almost 11%.
Top 10 local authorities by rate of children in need (per 10,000 children):
- Blackpool – 1464.9
- Southampton – 1453.9
- Wakefield – 1437.7
- Isle of Wight – 1276.4
- Coventry – 1142.6
- Northumberland – 1139.6
- Rotherham – 1127.8
- Hull – 1127.2
- Middlesbrough – 1098.1
- Nottingham – 1076.2
Of the 12.7% of children in need in the North East who were recorded as having a disability, almost half (49.4%) had a disability related to learning, whilst 17.8% had a disability that affects behaviour.
Nationally, abuse and neglect is the primary need at assessment for just over half (50.6%) of children in need. In the North East, it is a smaller proportion (45.49%), but the percentage where the primary need is family dysfunction is significantly higher; 25.18% compared with 17.4% in England as a whole.
Schools were the source of referral for 12.59% of cases in the North East. This is lower than nationally, where schools provided 16.7% of all referrals.
When broken down to local authority level, the percentage of referrals from schools shows significant difference from one area to another. In Darlington schools made 29% of referrals, whereas in Sunderland figures show that schools made no referrals.