591 on child protectionroll in Western Trust

Five hundred and ninety one children were on the protection register in the Western Trust at the end of June.

New Department of Health data show this was both the highest number and highest rate in the north at 80.6 children per 10,000 of the population under the age of 18.

The average rate in the north was 52.7 children per 10,000 requiring protection.

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The Western Trust area had the highest numbers of children in the north on the register for ‘neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse’ with 15; for ‘neglect only’ with 144; and for ‘emotional abuse only’ with 71.

It also had the joint highest number with the Northern Trust area of children on the register because of ‘physical and sexual abuse’ with 15.

Fifty seven of those children on the register locally were under the age of one; 165 were aged between one and four; 207 were aged between five and 11; 128 were aged between 12 and 15; and 34 were aged over 16.

Eighty eight children had been on the register for more than two years on June 30.

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A hundred and forty-five children were on the register for between a year and two years; 161 for between six months and a year; 102 for between three months and six months; and 95 for less than three months.

The majority of referrals in the Western Trust for the quarter ending June 30 were from social services (97), followed by the PSNI (29).

Relatives, neighbours or friends accounted for eight referrals, while 15 contacts were from ‘other’ sources. There were 157 referrals in the Western Trust during the quarter, down marginally year-on-year from 169 in June 2019.