Cases of child abuse and neglect are at an all-time high, with less than half being referred to social services.
A number of UK children’s charities have released a bleak warning that Britain’s social services system can’t cope with the country’s serious level of child abuse.
According to recent figures, as many as 1.5million youngsters suffer domestic abuse or neglect each year, but only 550,000 are referred to social services.
Out of these cases, just 35,100 are being allocated a social worker by over-worked care departments.
It is claimed that two children each week die through abuse or neglect, but only a handful receive attention.
The new statistics coincide with the launch of a research project by leading children’s charities Kids Company and MyGeneration, to prove that abuse can physically damage the brain as well as cause psychological harm.
Campaigner and founder of Kids Company, Camila Batmanghelidjh, says: ‘We’ve got a social services system that’s just not fit for the purpose. It can’t cope with the serious level of child abuse in Britain.’
Instead, social departments are being forced to make their own ruthless decisions in order to deal with the load.
‘They’re having to create their own thresholds of intervention – say, helping children who are being sexually abused through penetration, but not touching,’ continues Batmanghelidjh.
Shaun Bailey of MyGeneration is currently campaigning for an overhaul of benefits. The charity is inviting readers to make donations and organize fund-raising events, activities or visits to help their cause. For more information, visit www.mygeneration.org.uk.