Loading...

Children's social care


Introduction

The Children’s Social Care section reports on the demand and needs of children in need, children subject to child protection plans, children looked after and care leavers open to statutory social work and corporate parenting services in Oldham. Achieving positive outcomes for vulnerable children and young people in Oldham who can live in safe, loving and stable homes will enable them to have a brighter future to reach their full potential, academically, socially and emotionally.

Data Overview

The number of referrals into Children's Social Care in the 2023/24 financial year was 5,446. This represents a 5% decrease compared to the previous year (2022/23). There were 5,986 assessments completed in 2023/24. This represents a 6.3% decrease compared to the previous year. As of March 2024, there were 2,535 children open to Social Care in Oldham, 135 higher than a year ago. This is broken down by category in figure 1. The definitions of each category are below:

Children in Need (CIN) - defined under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health or development will be significantly impaired without the provision of children’s social care services, or the child is disabled.
Child Protection (CP) - Part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
Children Looked After (CLA) - A child is looked after by a local authority if they are provided with accommodation for a continuous period of more than 24 hours; are subject to a care order or are subject to a placement order.
Care Leaver (CL) - The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 states that a Care Leaver is someone who has been in the care of the Local Authority for a period of 13 weeks or more spanning their 16th birthday.

Figure 1: Number of children open to social care in Oldham by type, 2024
Source: Oldham Council Children's Social Care Intelligence Team, Mosaic

Children in Need (CIN)
Defined under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health or development will be significantly impaired without the provision of children’s social care services, or the child is disabled.

  • Oldham currently has 1062 children on a CIN plan, with 48% female, 50% male and 2% unknown (March 2024).
  • The highest numbers of children fall into the 0 to 5 and 11 to 15 age bands (each 32% of the total) and White UK ethnic group (56%).
  • The rate of Children in Need per 10,000 has remained relatively stable in Oldham between 2016/17 and 2022/23, with a slight increase of 2.7%. Rates amongst stat neighbours reduced by 5.3% over the same period.
  • Oldham has proportionately more instances with a category of need as 'Family Dysfunction' compared to statistical neighbours, the North West and England.
Figure 2: Children in Need per 10,000 trend
Source: DfE Characteristics of Children in Need, 2021/22

Figure 3: Number of Children in Need in Oldham by age band, 2024
Source: Oldham Council Children's Social Care Intelligence Team, Mosaic

Figure 4: Number of Children in Need in Oldham by ethnicity, 2024
Source: Oldham Council Children's Social Care Intelligence Team, Mosaic

Table 1: Children in Need by category of need, 2022/23 (%)

OldhamStatistical NeighboursNorth West England
 N1 - Abuse or neglect61776657
 N2 - Child's disability or illness3568
 N3 - Parent's disability or illness1112
 N4 - Family in acute stress7579
 N5 - Family dysfunction2271213
 N6 - Socially unacceptable behaviour3222
 N7 - Low income0000
 N8 - Absent parenting2335
 N9 - Cases other than children In need0101
 N0 - Not stated0012
Source: DfE Characteristics of Children in Need, 2022/23

Child Protection Plans (CP)

Child Protection Plans refer to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm and are part of safeguarding and promoting welfare.

  • Oldham currently has 512 children on a Child Protection Plan, with 47% female, 50% male and 3% unknown.
  • The rate per 10,000 children of Child Protection Plans has increased by 52% between 2016/17 and 2022/23 in Oldham. Over the same period, rates have decreased by 4% amongst statistical neighbours, decreased by 9% regionally and remained stable at a national level.
  • Exploring the rates by category of abuse for 2022/23 data, Oldham has a higher proportion of Child Protection Plans with an initial category of abuse recorded as Neglect. The proportion of plans with an initial category of abuse of Physical or Sexual Abuse are lower than national and regional averages.
Figure 5: Number of children on a Child Protection Plan in Oldham by age band, 2024
Source: Oldham Council Children's Social Care Intelligence Team, Mosaic

Figure 6: Child Protection Plans per 10,000 population trendSource: DfE Characteristics of children in need, 2022

Figure 7: Child Protection Plans by initial category of abuse, 2021/22
Source: DfE Characteristics of children in need, 2022

Table 2: Child Protection Plans by initial category of abuse, 2022/23 (%)

OldhamStat NeighboursNorth WestEngland
Neglect 52.843.346.048.4
Physical Abuse 3.49.07.28.3
Sexual Abuse 1.55.83.13.6
Emotional Abuse 42.344.313.037.6
Multiple 00.10.62.2
Source: DfE Characteristics of children in need, 2023
Figure 8: Number of children on a Child Protection Plan in Oldham by ethnicity, 2023
Source: Oldham Council Children's Social Care Intelligence Team, Mosaic

Children Looked After (CLA)

A child is looked after by a local authority if they are provided with accommodation for a continuous period of more than 24 hours; are subject to a care order or are subject to a placement order.

  • Oldham currently has 597 Children Looked After, with 50% female and 50% male. 
  • Just over two thirds (68%) of children are in Foster Placement, with the next highest placement type being Placed with Parents at 7%.
  • Between 2019 and 2023, Oldham's rate per 10,000 of Children Looked After increased by 3.6%. Over the same period, North West rates rose by 1.1% and England's increased by 7.6%.
  • Oldham's latest 2023 rate of 86 per 10,000 is higher than the England rate of 71 per 10,000 but lower than the North West average of 96 per 10,000.
  • When broken down by age band, Oldham has a higher proportion of its Children Looked After in the younger age bands (under 1 year, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 9 years) and a lower proportion in the older age bands (10 to 15 years, 16 years and over) compared to national averages.
  • Compared to regional and national averages, Oldham has a higher proportion of girls Looked After, with a proportion of 49% compared to the North West rate of 45% and England rate of 43%.
  • Oldham has a higher proportion of Children Looked After of Asian/Asian British and Mixed ethnic backgrounds and a lower proportion from White backgrounds. This is reflective of Oldham's general population.
  • Oldham has a lower proportion of children placed within the Local Authority (50%), compared to the North West (60%) and England (57%).
  • Proportionally, Oldham has a higher amount of need from Family Dysfunction compared to the North West and England.
Figure 9: Children Looked After trend per 10,000 population
Source: Department for Education, Children looked after in England including adoption, 2023

Figure 10: Children Looked After by age band, 2022
Source: Department for Education, Children looked after in England including adoption, 2023

Figure 11: Children Looked After by gender, 2022
Source: Department for Education, Children looked after in England including adoption, 2023

Figure 12: Number of Children Looked After in Oldham by ethnicity, 2024
Source: Oldham Council Children's Social Care Intelligence Team, Mosaic

Figures 13 & 14: Children Looked After by ethnicity, 2023 (DfE)
















Figure 15: Number of Children Looked After in Oldham by placement type, 2024
Source: Oldham Council Children's Social Care Intelligence Team, Mosaic

Table 4: Category of need of Children Looked After, 2023 (%)

OldhamNorth West England
N1. Abuse or neglect637265
N2. Child's disability122
N3. Parental illness or disability122
N4. Family in acute stress677
N5. Family dysfunction241213
N6. Socially unacceptable behaviour111
N7. Low income000
N8. Absent parenting449
Source: DfE Children looked after in England including adoptions, 2023
Figure 16: Children Looked After by placement location, 2023
Source: Department for Education, Children looked after in England including adoption, 2023

Care Leavers

The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 states that a Care Leaver is someone who has been in the care of the Local Authority for a period of 13 weeks or more spanning their 16th birthday. As of August 2023, there were 294 young people classified as Care Leavers in Oldham.

  • 93% of Oldham's 17 or 18 year old Care Leavers were in touch with the Local Authority for 2022/23, similar to regional and national averages.
  • 92% of Oldham's 17 or 18 year old Care Leavers were in suitable accommodation for 2022/23, compared with 91% nationally and 92% regionally.
  • For 2022/23, the percentage of Oldham's Care Leavers aged 17 or 18 in Education, Employment or Training (EET) was 54%. This is lower than the rates for statistical neighbours (65%), the North West (62%) and England (66%). 

  • 93% of Oldham's Care Leavers aged 19 to 21 were in touch with the Local Authority for 2022/23, higher than 91% nationally and 95% across the North West.
  • 92% of Oldham's Care Leavers aged 19 to 21 were in suitable accommodation for 2022/23, higher than 92% nationally and lower than 94% across the North West.
  • For 2022/23, the percentage of Oldham's Care Leavers aged 19 to 21 in Education, Employment or Training (EET) was 47%, lower than statistical neighbours (52%) and the North West (54%) and  England (56%).
Figure 17: Percentage of Care Leavers aged 17 or 18 in Education, Employment or Training (EET) trendSource: Department for Education, Children looked after in England including adoption, 2023

Figure 18: Percentage of Care Leavers aged 19 to 21 in Education, Employment or Training (EET) trend
Source: Department for Education, Children looked after in England including adoption, 2023 

Figure 19: Number of Care Leavers by ethnicity in Oldham, 2024
Source: Oldham Council Children's Social Care Intelligence Team, Mosaic

Further Information & Resources

Working Together to Safeguard Children - Statutory Guidance
Statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Keeping Children Safe in Education - Statutory Guidance
Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment.

NICE guideline [NG76] Child Abuse & Neglect
This guideline covers recognising and responding to abuse and neglect in children and young people aged under 18. It covers physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. The guideline aims to help anyone whose work brings them into contact with children and young people to spot signs of abuse and neglect and to know how to respond. It also supports practitioners who carry out assessments and provide early help and interventions to children, young people, parents and carers.

DfE - Children Looked After in England including Adoptions, reporting year 2023
This release provides information on children looked after (CLA) in England, including numbers of CLA adopted, care leavers and CLA who were missing. Data is taken from the annual SSDA903 data collection which is collected from local authorities in England.

DfE - Characteristics of Children in Need, reporting year 2023
These statistics are derived from data collected in the annual Children in Need Census. They provide information on children in need in England, including child protection plans and referrals to and assessments completed by children’s social care services.


...

Contact


Health and Wellbeing Board

Oldham Council

© 2024 Oldham MBC
Site design Wray Communications

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, analyse site traffic and understand where our audience is coming from. Read more.