Rochdale: Over 400 Children Taken Into Care In Five Months

The number of children being taken into care has rocketed in the past year, figures have revealed. Social Services in Rochdale took 428 children into care in just five months in 2008, more than double the amount from 2007.

Statistics obtained by Rochdale Online show a steady increase in the number of children, mostly between the ages of 10-15 being taken under the wing of the local authority.

In 2005/6, a total of 398 youngsters were taken in, followed by 427 in 2006/7, and 446 in 2007/8, the year ending in March.

But the following months, between April and September 2008, show 428, an average of 86 children per month, which is approximately 21 a week.

A spokeswoman for Rochdale Borough Council said the increase was wholly a result of a “stricter” policy, and nothing to do with more children being in danger than usual.

She said: “Social Services went under assessment and it was decided to lower the threshold in which to pursue an application.

“There is a new system in place which is stricter than before, resulting in lots more children being taken into care.

“Social Services has a responsibility to ensure the absolute safety of a child in danger and has become more robust in its services”.

Figures have also disclosed a large drop in children aged between 16 and 17.

Children under the age of one has steadily increased between 2005 and 2008.