Increased demand for social services

The Western Trust have revealed that their Child and Family services are facing an unprecedented demand with the amount of children the Trust takes responsiblity for at an all time high, standing at 6,186 children.

The comments were made at the Trust’s monthly board meeting where statistics from their Corporate Parenting Report for the period between April and September of this year show an increased demand for social services.

A jump in the number of children on the Child Protection Register was also noted. The report also revealed that there were 308 annual inspections regarding children outstanding, however it was emphasised that the Trust is “actively working to reduce these within the resources available.”

Kieran Downey, Western Trust Director of Women and Children’s Services and Executive Director of Social Work said: “Despite our best efforts the number of children which we are now taking parental responsibility for , is at an all-time high.

“There are many reasons for this including: family illness, family breakdown and problems at home, or a situation where their welfare is threatened.

“Unfortunately, the financial climate has added to the pressures parents face and has compounded those problems which were manageable before.”