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Children: Abuse

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the incidence of physical violence against children by parents and carers was in each year since 1990; and if he will make a statement. (153939)

The Government collect data on children who became the subject of a child protection plan. In the past this has also meant being placed on a child protection register, although these arrangements are now being altered. Figures are available for the years ending 31 March 1990 to 2001 under the category of physical injury and for years ending 31 March 2002 to 2007 under the category of physical abuse. This information is provided by local authorities and includes cases of children suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm from parents and carers (though it will also include other cases such as those where parents are unable to protect children from others posing a risk of harm to them). This information is set out in the following tables.

Up until year ending 31 March 2001 physical injury was recorded and could also be identified in cases where concerns about children included a mix of different categories. After that point, local authorities ceased reporting mixed categories separately so figures from year ending 31 March 2002 onwards are only available for registrations and child protection plans that are attributed to physical abuse as a single category. In the same year, there was also a change to the registration category where physical injury was redefined as physical abuse. As a result of this change in definition, the figures reported in year ending 31 March 2002 onwards for physical abuse may not be wholly comparable to the figures reported for ‘physical injury alone’ in preceding years.

Table 1: Children who became the subject of a child protection plan1 as a result of physical abuse during the year ending31 March 2002 to 2007

Number

Percentage2

2007

5,100

15

2006

5,100

16

2005

5,500

18

2004

5,700

19

2003

5,700

19

2002

5,300

19

1 A child may be registered more than once during the year.

2 Percentage of children who became the subject of a child protection plan as a direct result of physical abuse. Excludes children who are subject to multiple forms of abuse including physical abuse.

Table 2: Children who became the subject of a child protection plan1 as a result of physical injury during the year ending 31 March 1990 to 2001

Physical injury alone

Percentage2

Total physical injury3

Percentage4

2001

5,800

22

8,000

30

2000

6,700

23

9,500

32

1999

7,000

23

9,400

31

1998

7,500

25

8,000

33

1997

8,400

29

10,800

38

1996

8,600

30

10,700

38

1995

10,400

34

12,300

40

1994

9,700

34

11,400

40

1993

8,400

34

9,800

40

1992

6,300

26

7,100

29

1991

6,000

21

6,700

24

1990

6,300

24

7,100

26

1 A child may be registered more than once during the year.

2 Expressed as a percentage of the total children who became the subject of a child protection plan.

3 Includes children who have suffered physical injury in conjunction with other categories of abuse. Children may be counted more than once in these mixed categories.

4 Percentage of children who became the subject of a child protection plan as a result of physical injury alone or in conjunction with other reported forms of abuse.