Local authorities are anticipating a surge in the number of child protection referrals when schools reopen in the UK. Such referrals have decreased by more than 50 percent in some areas of England, as many vulnerable children are not in contact with teachers or youth workers and abuse and neglect goes unnoticed at home. More than 1.5 million children in England live in families where one parent or carer has a severe mental health problem, and around 830,000 live in homes where domestic abuse has taken place in the last year. With the number of vulnerable children set to rise due to the impact of the pandemic, local authorities are concerned they will struggle to meet the demands without additional support from the government. The Children’s Commissioner has called for additional funding for a “catch-up programme” to help disadvantaged pupils academically and to ensure that local authorities are prepared for this new wave of child protection referrals. Read more here.