Berkshire

Slough feels the strain on social services

The number of children thought to be at risk in Slough has doubled since 2007, with a total of 118 children on the at-risk register.

The situation is creating a "vicious spiral" according to Community Care Magazine editor Judy Cooper, who says the number of children at risk is increasing while funding for social services is being cut.

Children on the register are believed to be at risk of being seriously neglected, or physically or sexually abused by their parents.

Slough Borough Council is being forced to recruit social workers from India, Romania and the US to meet demand.

Significant harm

Claire Pyper of Slough Borough Council said there had been a national increase of children on the at risk register due to the Baby P case in 2008.

The publicity around the case prompted more people to report children at risk.

"Friends, family, members of the community and schools have reported more children and those children have been at risk of significant harm in many cases," she said.

"The government forecast of 25% less money for local authorities is going to put us in a very difficult position particularly in the statutory duties for children who are looked after."

Judy Cooper, the Children's Editor at Community Care Magazine said that the rise in children at risk was "quite common."

She said: "Slough is not alone, the numbers of children on these registers are going up across the country and there is a national shortage of social workers."

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