More children on protection list in Northern Ireland

The number of children in Northern Ireland on the child protection register has risen by 20%. On 31 March 2009, there were 2,488 children on the register, compared to 2,071 at the end of March 2008.

Half of them were judged to be at risk of neglect.

Of the 2,488 children on the list, 7% were under one year old and 60% had been on the register for less than a year.

The latest increase follows a 15% rise from 2007 to 2008.

A spokesman for the DHSSPS linked the previous increase to the fact that communities which were previously reluctant to engage with police were now much more willing to report abuse.

At the end of last year, it emerged that the number of applications to take vulnerable children in NI into care had almost doubled in a year.

Northern Ireland’s five health and social care trusts made 160 applications for care orders involving 309 children between January and August in 2009.