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One in five children under supervision orders harmed again within five years

At least one in five children in England allowed to return to potentially dangerous homes under supervision orders are back in court within five years having been subjected to further significant harm, according to research.

Children aged under five placed under supervision orders were at greater risk of returning to court than older children, the four-year study found. At least 8% of all children under supervision orders returned to court within 12 months of previous proceedings.

The study also found that professionals were deeply frustrated by the lack of powers available to help them keep vulnerable children safe, and wanted local authorities to be given “more teeth”.

The study followed 19,296 children placed under supervision orders between 2010-11 and 2016-17.

In-depth study of four local authorities gave an insight into some of the pressures on parents that could undermine children’s wellbeing. At least 49% of children in the study were exposed to financial hardship and 56% to housing problems. These issues topped the list of all parental problems to which the children were exposed and got worse during the study.

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