Education charity School-Home Support (SHS) has released its annual Impact Report, showing that the number of actions taken regarding children at risk from harm has risen dramatically. In 2016/17, the number of safeguarding interventions the charity’s practitioners had to make had more than tripled over the past six years*.
SHS’s practitioners – who supported over 10,500 children and families across London and the South last year – work closely with designated safeguarding leads, Children’s Services and other agencies to ensure children and young people feel safe and protected at all times. The rise in number of incidents undertaken by SHS mirrors the national trend. The report ‘How safe are our children? The most comprehensive overview of child protection in the UK 2017’ (NSPCC), shows an increase over the last decade of numbers of children on child protection plans, public reporting of child abuse, and child cruelty and neglect offences.
Reasons for the increase
– safeguarding risks arising as a result of poverty and unsuitable housing: instances of these have risen, particularly in London where SHS carries out the majority of their work.
– tighter council budgets meaning schools have had to take on more responsibility for delivering safeguarding interventions. SHS Practitioners based in schools are therefore picking up this work.
22% of these safeguarding interventions were centered around supporting families affected by domestic violence. 10% of our safeguarding interventions concerned neglect and 9% were to do with physical abuse.
Commentary from education charity
Jaine Stannard, Chief Executive at education charity SHS, said, “This is a staggering rise and shows that our support is needed in schools more than ever. Educational settings need dedicated staff, trained in safeguarding work and properly supervised, to ensure that no child falls through the cracks. Budgets allocated to schools must reflect this.”
Daniel Jarrett, Safeguarding Manager, said, “In my time at SHS, and previously as a social worker, I have seen how easy it is for a family’s challenging situation to become a safeguarding risk – and how important it is that there’s someone looking out for the children in these families. These figures show how vital safeguarding support is.”
ABOUT SCHOOL-HOME SUPPORT
Educaton charity, School-Home Support (SHS) have been working with disadvantaged children and families to maximise educational opportunities since 1984. They currently have 60+ practitioners based in educational settings around the South of England, and offer a free support service for all schools.