Children in Need
The Children in Need (CIN) Census is a statutory return that is submitted to the Department for Education on an annual basis. The latest census for which figures are published covers children’s social care activity between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019, with the deadline for data submission from local authorities having been 31st July 2019.
This provides a summary of the key findings from the 2018-19 DfE statistical release for the Children in Need Census. The findings include comparisons to Derby’s previous figures and to national and comparator authority results for 2018-19 and earlier years.
Children in Need
A child in need is one who has been assessed by children’s social care to be in need of services. These services can include, for example, family support (to help keep together families experiencing difficulties), leaving care support (to help young people who have left local authority care), adoption support, or disabled children’s services (including social care, education and health provision.)
- Derby had 2922 children in need at 31 March 2019. This is 86 cases more than a year earlier and equates to a rate of 487.8 per 10,000 as at 31st March 2019. This rate is above the national rate (334.2), the comparator authority average rate (372.9) and the East Midlands rate (300.4) as at the same date.
- This the fourth successive year that Derby’s rate per 10,000 has increased. Previous rates were 475.3 as at 31 March 2018, 461.1 as at 31 March 2017 and 397.9 as at 31 March 2016.
- 11.5% of all children in need cases for Derby at 31 March 2019 had a disability recorded (335 children from 2922). This is higher than the number of children as at 31 March 2018 having a disability recorded (307).
- Learning, Communication, and Behaviour were again the most frequently used disability codes in Derby during 2018-19. Learning was cited for 54.3% of children in need with a disability, with Behaviour and Communication cited for 34.6% and 27.5% of children in need with a disability respectively.
- Autism / Asperger Syndrome also featured highly in the disability codes during 2018-19 with 38.2% of children in need with a disability. This has increased compared to last year which was 29.6%.
- 26.4% of cases in Derby were open for less than 3 months as at 31 March 2019, which is slightly higher than the percentage for a year earlier (25.6%). It is lower than the national percentage as at 31 March 2019 (27.9%) and the comparator authority average percentage (30.4%) as at 31 March 2019.
- 43.6% of open cases at year end in Derby were open for a duration of one year or longer as at 31 March 2019, which is higher than the percentage for last year (40.7%). Derby’s 31 March 2019 percentage (43.6%) is slightly lower than both the equivalent comparator authority average (45.1%) and the national percentage (46.5%), indicating that Derby has a higher number of cases that opened more recently.
- 73.8% of all children in need cases at 31 March 2019 in Derby were open due to N1-Abuse or Neglect (2155 out of 2922), 7.4% were open due to N3 - Parent's disability or illness, and 7.7% were open due to N2 Child’s disability or illness. Derby has a low percentage of cases open for a primary need of N5-Family dysfunction (2.4%) as the national (14.7%) and comparator authority average (9.1%) are both considerably higher. This could be down to interpretation of factors at referral or assessment as Derby is considerably higher in the N3 – Parent’s disability or illness category. Here the national percentage is 2.5% and comparator authority average is 2.6%, compared to Derby’s 7.4%.
- 1717 children ceased to be a child in need in Derby during 2018-19. This is a drop of 125 cases from 2017-18, accounting for the rise in number of CIN cases at year end. 21.1% of these cases had been open for less than 3 months (362 out of 1717). 39.3% of these closed cases had been open for one year or more. (674 out of 1717).
Referrals and assessments
- Derby had 4228 referrals during 2018-19, which is an increase of 404 referrals from the previous year with a figure of 3824. Derby’s rate of referral for 2018-19 was 705.9 per 10,000 population (U18). This is above the national rate of 544.5 and also slightly above the comparator authority average rate of 681.2. Derby’s 2018-19 rate (705.9) is the second highest rate seen over the past seven years. Referrals to date during 2019-20 are on course for around 4280, which is a similar amount to 2018-19.
- 16.5% of Derby’s referrals in 2018-19 were within 12 months of a previous referral, this compares to 22.6% seen nationally, 22.7% in our comparator authorities and 24.2% in the East Midlands region. Derby is ranked second lowest in our comparator group. Medway is the lowest with 14.3% whilst Sheffield has the highest percentage with 35.2%.
- 10.1% of Derby’s referrals in 2018-19 resulted in No Further Action, this compares to 8.1% seen nationally, 12.2% in our comparator authorities and 12.4% in the East Midlands region.
- During 2018-19, 38.1% of referrals resulted in an assessment and the child was assessed not to be in need, this compares to 29.1% seen nationally, 31.1% in our comparator authorities and 35.0% in the East Midlands region.
- Derby has a higher percentage of referrals from Education Services (7.2%), Health Services (15.2%) and LA Services (18.6%) (internally logged) compared to national figures (2.4%, 14.6% and 13.3% respectively).
- Derby has a lower percentage of referrals logged by Police (23.2%) and Other (2.0%) compared to national figures (29.2% and 5.5% respectively).
- 3823 single assessments were completed in Derby during 2018-19. 65.8% of these were completed within a timescale of 45 working days compared to 80.0% in 2017-18, a decrease in performance of 14.2 percentage points. This is well below the comparator authority average of 77.9% and below the national average of 83.1%. Derby is the second lowest performing authority in our comparator group. Medway was the lowest with 63.1% whilst Telford and Wrekin achieved 89.8%. Derby’s mid-year performance for 2019-20 is 93.0% which would put us top of our comparator group and would be performing well above the national average.
- Derby’s rate for completed single assessments per 10,000 population (U18) (638.2 per 10,000) is much higher than our comparator authority average (603.2), East Midlands average (510.5) and national (539.3). Derby has the third highest rate in our comparator group behind Peterborough (643.0) and Walsall (754.6).
- Of the 2560 episodes with assessment factor information in Derby during 2018-19, Domestic Violence was identified as a factor in 1491 of them (58.2%). This compares to Domestic Violence being identified in 64.0% of episodes in 2017-18. The percentage of DV identified as an assessment factor has decreased for the third year running.
- 449 of the 2560 episodes (17.5%) with assessment factor information in Derby during 2018-19 had Neglect identified as a factor. This is a reduction compared to the past two years (26.5% in 2017-18 and 20.6% in 2016-17.)
- 113 of the 2560 episodes (4.4%) with assessment factor information in Derby during 2018-19 had Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) identified as a factor. This compares to CSE being identified in 6.3% of episodes in 2017-18.
- Further percentages of episodes with assessment factor information in Derby during 2018-19 which were higher than the national averages were;
- Alcohol Abuse 24.7% in Derby compared to 18.3% nationally
- Mental Health 49.3% in Derby compared to 43.5% nationally
- Socially unacceptable behaviour 10.7% in Derby compared to 8.2% nationally
- Self-harm 6.3% in Derby compared to 4.5% nationally
- Emotional Abuse 29.2% in Derby compared to 21.1% nationally
- Physical Abuse 20.1% in Derby compared to 14.2% nationally