18,000 Children in Essex Known To Social Services

9 November 2016, 10:07 | Updated: 9 November 2016, 10:09

The number of children in need and known to social services in Essex is nearly 18,000.

Nationally it has reached 394,400 in the year to March 31 - a rise of 25,000 since 2012.

Nearly a third of those referred to social services (30.6%) were aged 10 - 15, and nearly a quarter (23.6%) were under the age of five.

Worryingly domestic violence was identified as a reason for children being referred in half of all cases, and in 36.6% mental health was flagged as a factor.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: "It's troubling that the number of children in need has increased, particularly as a significant portion of those being referred are under the age of five.

"The fact that mental health was identified as a factor in more than a third of cases highlights why more than ever we need swift and appropriate help for those who are suffering with mental health issues.

"Mental health problems can be devastating whether they affect the child in need, or their family members at home.

"We also know that nine in ten children who have been abused go on to suffer mental health problems before they reach the age of 18. The NSPCC's It's Time campaign has called on the Government to provide improved mental health support for children who have experienced abuse to help them understand and recover from their experiences."

Any child struggling with mental health, whether their own or the mental health of a loved one, can call Childline on 0800 11 11.

For adults with concerns about a child, the NSPCC's free helpline provides a place they can get advice and support, share their concerns or get general information about child protection. Adults can contact the helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0808 800 5000, by texting 88858 or visiting www.nspcc.org.uk