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THERE are fewer children in care in Ceredigion but more on the at risk register, according to the latest safeguarding figures.

Corporate lead officer for children services Elfed Hopkins  presented the multi-agency management reports for child safeguarding for quarters two and three, 2018 -19 to scrutiny committee on Wednesday, May 15.

Data for the period of July 1 to September 30 2018 and October 1 to December 31 2018 were examined by the members of the co-ordination overview and scrutiny committee.

Of the 58 children on the child protection register at the end of quarter two, 24 were subjected to the ‘three toxic risk factors’ of domestic abuse, parental substance misuse and parental mental health.

There were 53 children on the child protection register at the end of quarter three, 19 of whom were subjected to the ‘three toxic risk factors’.

Quarter three figures also indicated the number of children facing ‘adverse childhood experiences’ (ACE) with 40  subject to a child protection plan
where parental separation and/or incarceration feature.

There were also two children registered as they faced all five risk factors.

Cllr Rowland Rees-Evans said that the figures appeared to be “flatlined” but “some might see it is a failure that the figures aren’t going down.” He asked what else could be done to reduce the numbers at risk.

Mr Hopkins warned that the next set of figures to scrutinise would show a “spike” due to a number of re-registrations with initial data indicating around 70 children at risk.

He added that Ceredigion County Council had “significantly reduced” the number of looked after children – those taken into care – in recent years, from around 80 to the “60 mark.”

“We are in a situation where we are taking less children into care but of course, the knock on effect of that is we are leaving them potentially at home with their families and in some cases there are risks associated with that,” he added.

Children were also regularly reviewed and taken off the register when possible he added, with figures constantly fluctuating.

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