More children on child protection alert

PUBLISHED: 07:38 12 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:59 22 October 2010

A sharp rise in children suffering emotional abuse in south Norfolk has almost doubled the number of youngsters on the child protection register.

A sharp rise in children suffering emotional abuse in south Norfolk has pushed up the number of youngsters on the child protection register by almost a half.

The child protection annual report for 2005/06 revealed that south Norfolk had 101 children on the register - the highest in the county - compared with 96 in Yarmouth and 93 in Norwich.

A meeting of the board of the Southern Norfolk Primary Care Trust, whose territory takes in Dereham and Thet-ford, was told that the average number of children on the register each month had risen sharply since last year.

The report found that most children on the register had suffered some form of traumatic emotional abuse.

During the year, 1,408 child-ren from the area were thought at risk and were considered for inclusion on the register.

The care trust's director of nursing and children's services, Val McQueen, said the increase could be explained partly by the arrival of three large families in the area and the trust's strin-

gent child protection measures.

She added: "Unit protection supervisors, health visitors and social nursing teams are working very hard to keep up with our child protection problems.

"Numbers of children per month on the protection register have risen 44pc since last year, and that gives us a huge challenge in terms of the degree of help and staffing these families need.

"You can also see the huge number of referrals we have to deal with.

"I do feel that we have a robust system and, therefore, we may pick up more cases then other people do whose systems are not so thorough."

Dr John Sampson said there was a link between depriv-ation in Norfolk and the numbers of children on the protection register. The meeting was told that Thetford accounted for half of all child protection issues.

Also highlighted was the continuing problem of addressing the large number of child protection issues among the local Portuguese population - often caused by cultural differences where parents felt it was safe to leave children alone at home.

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