Protecting children from life’s horrors

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DOMESTIC violence, neglect, substance abuse and mental health issues are affecting hundreds of Wigan children according to a new report.

Health chiefs have targeted improvements in safeguarding children in an annual report presented to Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (WBCCG).

Some 800 children were either being looked after or in child protection in September 2012 – a small rise on the same time in 2011.

However, while WBCCG say numbers are in line with national trends, it is something they aim to keep an eye on along with partner agencies.

Dr Tim Dalton, Chairman of Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The numbers of children needed safeguarding across Wigan borough is in line with national trends and is not above the national average.

“Wigan Borough CCG working closely with Wigan Council plan to continue our existing well established joint management arrangements which have been recognised as a model of good practice in the recent OFSTED/CQC inspection.

“We prioritise safeguarding children and are active members of the Wigan Safeguarding Children Board. Medical professionals, the council and all public services remain absolutely dedicated to protecting the needs of the most vulnerable in our borough.

“There is a lot of good practice around recognising the issues for families and we work closely with our partners to support families to cope.

“We are continually developing and reviewing practice to deliver the best service we can for children’s safety”.

According to the report, Wigan “has high numbers of children and families facing significant stressors and who require early help in order to keep children safe and well.”

As the WBCCG prepare to take over from the former primary care trust, the report states that it is “vital” that safeguarding standards are maintained “at this time of change and uncertainty.”