Publication of ‘Quarterly Child Protection Statistics for NI (October – December 2017)’

Date published: 15 February 2018

The Department of Health has today published ‘Quarterly Child Protection Statistics for NI (October – December 2017)’.

Key Facts and Figures:

Child Protection Register

  • At 31 December 2017, 2,131 children were listed on the Child Protection Register, representing a 1% increase on the previous quarter and a decrease of 3% on the previous year
  • Overall there were 48.9 children per 10,000 children’s population (under 18) on the register. Taking account of local demographics, register counts per 10,000 children ranged from 39.9 in the Belfast HSC Trust to 60.7 in the Southern HSC Trust
  • Four out of five (81%) children were on the register due to physical abuse, neglect or a combination of physical abuse and neglect
  • Some 68% of children on the Child Protection Register at 31 December 2017 had been on the register for less than one year with 3% of children on the register for three years or longer

Child Protection Referrals

  • HSC Trusts received 867 child protection referrals during the quarter ending 31 December 2017. This was 14% above the referrals received during the previous quarter, and 11% below the number of referrals for the same quarter in 2016
  • The largest proportion of referrals, 55%, originated from within Social Services, followed by the police with 14%

Changes to future quarterly releases

With the aim of improving the Department’s use of resources, these tables will in the future no longer be accompanied by a press release.

An overview of future releases of the quarterly tables can be found on the DoH’s Statistical Releases Calendar 

Notes to editors: 

1. This information was collated by Community Information Branch within the DoH.

2. This bulletin is the 29th quarterly reporting of Quarterly Child Protection Statistics for NI.

3. Statistics detailed within the bulletin include numbers of children on the Child Protection Register at 31 December 2017, by legal status, age, category of abuse and duration on the Register, and numbers of Child Protection Referrals by source of referral during the third quarter of 2017/18.

4. Statistics for the quarter ending 31 March 2018 are due for publication in May 2018. Please note that following a consultation exercise in 2015 these statistics are now published in table format only and will in the future no longer be accompanied by a press release.

5. The publication schedule for statistics produced by the Department of Health is available online.

6. The statistical tables are available online.  

7. Further information is available from:

Community Information Branch                       
Department of Health                            
Room 11, Annexe 2                                                                 
Castle Buildings

Tel:         (028) 90 528446


8. For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office on 9052 0074 or email:   For out of hours please contact to Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt  

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