Child protection investigations

For each of the individual years, between 2008 to 2019:

1. How many child protection investigations have you undertaken into serious non-accidental injuries in babies under a year of age?’
2. For the investigations your organisation has undertaken, how many of these involved the death of a baby under a year of age?

We have interpreted your request to refer to investigations made under s.47 of the Children Act concerning child protection enquiries.

We are able to identify from our records the total number of s.47 enquiries for children aged under 1. We should clarify that we only hold the data for s.47 enquiries since 2014.

However, we cannot identify if these enquiries were due to serious non-accidental injuries – there are no dropdown lists of reasons for a Section 47 enquiry taking place – this would be free text information recorded in forms and therefore not in a reportable format.

The only way this information could therefore be identified would be a case by case review of each of the matters referred to in the table below.

As you will see, we have identified a grand total of 798 s.47 enquiries for children aged under 1. Allowing, say, 10 minutes for each case review, this would therefore take a total of 133 hours. This is in excess of the appropriate limit of 18 hours and this further detail is therefore exempt from disclosure pursuant to s.12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We can identify the annual totals for s.47 enquiries since 2014 for children aged under 1 as follows:

2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
149 154 144 124 227