MORE than 160 young abuse victims from St Helens were on child protection plans last year, according to new figures.
The NSPCC say fewer children are dying as a result of murder, assaults or suicide - but that disturbing levels of child abuse still exist.
That’s because the children’s charity estimate that for every child on a protection plan, a further eight will have suffered undetected maltreatment.
Bernadette Oxley, the NSPCC’s regional head of service, said: “Abuse and maltreatment can have a devastating effect on a child’s mental and physical health so it is important these children have access to the support they need to overcome their experiences.
“When we discover abuse we must do everything we can to protect children from further harm and help them recover. But child protection services are already working to meet high demands, so we must prevent abuse from happening to so many children in the first place. By identifying and supporting vulnerable children and their families early we can stop abuse before it starts and set a new course to give children a brighter, happier future.”
In total, there were 1,646 Merseyside youngsters placed on child proection plans in 2011/12 – including 164 in St Helens.