Sunderland sees huge rise of children in care

A councillor responsible for safeguarding youngsters has spoken of her fear for Sunderland’s looked-after children, as its numbers shoot up amidst Government cuts.

Coun Pat Smith, who is the portfolio holder for children and learning, called the 14% increase of children in care in just one year “a big worry”.

As of June 1, 591 young people were in the care of the council on Wearside, compared to 519 on the same date last year.

Coun Smith says she holds the Government responsible for more and more families losing their way in a desperate financial situation.

She said: “I think it is safe to say that it’s not rocket science when we see the numbers of people going into care.

“If benefits had not been cut this wouldn’t have happened.

“It puts the fear of God into me to see we have another five years of this.”

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