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The NSPCC has published its annual “How Safe are our Children” report for 2013. Compiling data from across the UK, the report looked at all aspects of child abuse and cruelty in an effort to find out just how well protected children were from abuse. By piecing together the evidence from a large number of sources, it aims to provide the most comprehensive picture yet of child safety.
In terms of general trends in child safety, the report found that whilst there were some ways that children today were safer than they had been in previous generations, there were also new dangers that had appeared in recent years. Obvious improvements had been made in the rate of children dying as a result of assault or suicide, however it was estimated that there were still around 520,000 children in 2011 who had been mistreated by their parent or guardian. There was also some evidence to indicate that physical and sexual abuse rates were in decline, but again some 200,000 children were estimated to be in need as a result of abuse and neglect.
Some new threats to child safety had also emerged in recent years, particularly online. Large numbers of children reported that they saw things that bothered them almost every day on social networking websites. The report found that whilst parents were used to telling their children about dangers in the real world, they were much less confident talking to them about safety on the internet.
Perhaps most worryingly was the difference between the number of children subject to a child protection plan or on a child protection register and the estimated total number of children who had suffered maltreatment. For every child receiving some form of protection, it was estimated another 8 children had suffered maltreatment.
Head of Family Law Department and Child Law Solicitor Hazel Roberts commented on the NSPCC’s report:
‘It is extremely sad that in this day and age, so many children are neglected and abused. With further proposed government cuts this can only seek to increase the risk to children. This report only seeks to confound my concerns as a lawyer for children.’
Here at Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors in Liverpool our Child Law Solicitors are here to protect vulnerable children and to ensure that they can grow up in a safe and caring environment. The high standards that we adhere to when it comes to dealing with child law matters is recognised by the Law Society and we have three Accredited Child Law Solicitors amongst our family law team. For a confidential discussion about a child law issue with one of our child law solicitors call 0151 239 1181.