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Sky News highlights BASW member poll on child protection referrals and interviews BASW England Director Maris Stratulis

Coronavirus: During lockdown, there has been a worrying rise in the number of referrals to child protection unit

BASW features on Sky News several times this week, following a Sky News/BASW poll which shows a steep rise in child protection referrals post-lockdown.

We want to thank all members who took part in the poll, which resulted in BASW England Director Maris Stratulis being interviewed on the Early Rundown Show with Kimberly Leonard and quoted in two online articles on the Sky News website.

The survey found that 65% of those working in the field say referrals are up compared with September 2019, which was reported by Sky News as part of a wider story on how Kent's social services has seen a sharp rise in calls coming in after children returned to school following lockdown.

Maris' quote in the article is as follows: "Our members in regions across the country are telling us they are incredibly busy as stored-up harms from lockdown, including domestic violence, parental substance misuse, mental health issues and sexual harm, are now starting to show through as children return to school.

"We are extremely concerned that the increase of referrals in their areas is likely to continue and that children and young people and their families in need will be experiencing more hardship in the weeks and months ahead, with not enough resources to respond effectively to this demand."

The Sky News/BASW survey also found 80% of social workers felt they do not have enough resources to cope with the level of referrals they are facing now children are back at school, which was reported in another article by Sky News.

In this article, BASW England Director Maris Stratulis said resources have been "stripped back for years" due to austerity.

"We know that since lockdown, the few charitable and voluntary sector services left are facing financial hardship and staff have been furloughed."

BASW England is now urging the government to commit to more funding for social services in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

Watch BASW England Director Maris Stratulis’ interview on Sky News below or via Youtube.

Read the Sky News articles in full:

BASW England national director Maris Stratulis on Sky News discussing rising referrals post-lockdown