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Children looked after by NPTC, by age and gender, at 31 March 2010

Neath Port Talbot Council
Director of Social Services, Health & Housing:
Mr. Tony Clements
Civic Centre,
Port Talbot,
SA13 1PJ
Date of request: April 01, 2011

The number of children in NPTC local authority care increased by a massive 33% from 290 to 390 in just one year (2009/10)

The largest annual rise anywhere in the UK for the same period.
One of the largest increases ever recorded in the UK since records began for a one year period.

Comparisons - compared to Cardiff for example, were the rise was just 1.9 % for the same period.

Please could your department give an explanation as to why there as been such an huge increase?

Children looked after by local authorities, by age and gender, at 31 March 2010
http://www.statswales.wales.gov.uk
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-12901950 

All replies will be published. We have also send a copy of this email to the list below.

Best Regards
Adele Sanders (Social Affairs Correspondent)
www.fassit.co.uk 

CC:

Children's Commissioner for Wales
Peter Hain MP
Bethan Jenkins AM
Gwenda Thomas AM


Reply to request 05 April, 2011

In response to your email dated 1st April, 2011 to Anthony Clements, I would respond as follows:

A number of local authorities across Wales have experienced a significant rise in numbers of looked after children over the past two years and whilst the Neath Port Talbot figure is high, it follows a general trend across much of Wales.

It is not possible to provide a straightforward explanation for this as every child is looked after for different reasons and these reasons are usually in relation to their need for protection from harm. Neath Port Talbot is an area where there are high levels of parental substance misuse, mental health and domestic abuse, features which often contribute to the level of harm children are exposed to. It is not unreasonable therefore to suggest that these high levels of need have contributed to the increase in numbers of looked after children.

As you are aware, unless agreed by parents, all children who become looked after, do so through Court decision making proceedings which robustly examine the evidence to support whether or not a child should remain looked after.

Julie Rzezniczek
Head of Children and Young People Services
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Tel: 01639 763327
Fax: 01639 763269