BBC Scotland’s report today on the research showing a 75% increase in the number of children in care since 2004 is, typically, short on context or critical assessment. The research from the University of Central Lancashire showing this increase to be greater than in other parts of the UK was led by an academic whose research ‘focuses on the overemphasis on risk in the child protection system’ was accepted uncritically.
Reader comment: I too would have thought that it is the number of children who are NEEDING to be taken into care that we should want to reduce. Seeking to reduce the number IN care without due attention to evidence on the nature and scale of need is an objective with obvious potential for bad, even if unintended, outcomes.
I’m no expert here but isn’t risk to the child easily the most important, critical, factor in this and might the increase in Scotland have been the correct thing to do? See this graph and comment on the number of children on the child protection register in the four nations of the UK:
‘Scotland has seen an increase in the proportion of children on the child protection register over the last decade, but this proportion remains notably low compared to the rest of the UK as Scotland did not have large increases in children on the register in 2007-2011 as seen in the rest of the UK.’
Could the increase in the number of children taken into care in Scotland have prevented the dramatic increase in the number of children at risk we see in the other parts of the UK? This seems an obvious consideration to me but I, unlike BBC Scotland, remain open to alternative views.