The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report setting out recent trends in pressures on children’s social care demand and activity in England and the response of both national and local government to these pressures.

Findings include: there was a 26% increase between 2010/11 and 2017/18 in the number of children who were the subject of a child protection plan; the number child protection plans varied from 22 to 156 per 10,000 children between local authorities; 44% of this variation could be explained by local-authority-specific characteristics (such as local children’s social care practice and local market conditions), 15% by deprivation levels, 10% by national policy changes and 6% by levels of spending on children’s social care and vacancy levels for children’s social workers.

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