Information released by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) shows a record number of children have been impacted by domestic abuse leading to social services referrals and care proceedings, with the police making almost 245,000 referrals to Social Services for domestic abuse in 2020/2021.
Mark Williams, Partners and Solicitor in Tozers Family Care team noted that the high level of referrals, amounting to an average of 669 child protection referrals a day to Social Services from the police, reflects the high level of work undertaken by the Tozers Care Team, similarly echoed in the high levels of care work proceeding through the Court. With all three of our local authorities, namely Plymouth, Devon, & Torbay Council having had to cope with an increase in demand for protective services for children in their respective areas.
Mark commented, “It was evident during the pandemic the risks for children experiencing abuse, whilst trapped at home, were significantly increased. It is of note that in January 2022 this marked the start of children being officially recognised as victims of domestic abuse in the Domestic Abuse Act”
As well as the statutory agencies, the NSPCC also noted they received a significant increase in the number of calls they were managing from people worried about domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is often one part of a pattern involving other abusive behaviours which can be linked to mental health concern and substance misuse.
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At Tozers we recognise the demand for protective measures for children and remain committed to meeting the demands of this work with our dedicated specialist family care team.