Neglected and abused children at risk of significant harm before social services intervene

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Neglected and abused children in Northamptonshire are increasingly likely to be at risk of significant harm by the time social services reach them, figures show.

Social workers have warned the children in England face “generational trauma” as a result of cuts to social services, which they say have left them struggling to cope with “unmanageable” workloads.

Around 4,160 children in Northamptonshire were judged to be in need of support after being referred to social services in the 12 months to March, according to the latest Department for Education figures.

Of these children, 2,090 were made the subject of a child protection enquiry, which the British Association of Social Workers says indicates a child may already be at crisis point.

A spokesman for the organisation said cuts to preventative services such as Sure Start Centres means struggling families are not coming to the attention of social workers early enough.

This means it is “four times harder” to help them.

“At the same time the people who have been tasked with helping them have had their resources cut and their workload has increased,” he said.

“It’s a vicious circle.”