Children’s and adolescents’ mental health service facing serious problems

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Milner Elledge is the best childrens lawyer in Romford & Dagenham offering trained solicitors that are accredited to this area of family law. We can help with Social Services, court appearances, custody cases or any other children’s matters.

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Mental health funding cuts to affect many

A report by the Health Select Committee published on 5th November 2014, has warned there are ‘serious and deeply ingrained problems’ running throughout the entire system.  According to the report, the safety of young people is at risk with access to inpatient mental health services severely inadequate. This means the safety of young people is being compromised as they wait for beds to become available. In many cases, when beds do become available, they are often in distant parts of the country meaning separation from family and friends for prolonged periods. Insecure or short term funding is viewed as a prime culprit for the severely inadequate early intervention services which are designed to provide support to children and young people before mental health symptoms worsen.

Despite an increasing demand for mental health services for children and young people, many clinical commissioning groups have decided to freeze or cut funding altogether. With such little priority given to children’s and adolescents’ mental health, the committee is concerned that not enough is being done to provide the level of care needed.

The committee has called for the DH/NHS England Task force to monitor and provide more funding for CAMHS services until acceptable standards have been met.

Children’s social care referrals have risen by 10%

Information on children referred to and assessed by children’s social services as children in need between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014, has been published by the Department for Education.
According to the information released, there was a 10.8% increase in the number of referrals to children’s social care in 2013-14 with 657,800 referrals compared to the previous year when there were just 593,500 referrals.Almost a quarter of those referrals came from the police according to data collected on the source of the referrals – the first collection of its kind. 

Children in need continues to increase

The number of children in need also showed an increase, with a 5% rise from 378,600 on 31st March 2013 to 397,600 on 31st March 2014, although there are fluctuations in the longer-term time series. 

The most common primary need recorded among children was the need for care due to abuse or neglect at 47.2% and the next highest showed a similar percentage to the previous year at 18.6% for family dysfunction. Similarly, there was also an increase in section-47 inquiries carried out, with 2013-14 showing an increase of 12.1% on the previous year from 127,100 to 142,500.
There was also a further increase in children subject to the child protection plan from 43,100 on 31st March 2013 to 48,300 on 31st March 2014, an increase of 23.5% since March 2010.

If you are looking for a children’s lawyer in Romford or Dagenham, we can help. contact Milner Elledge for more details.