Helping Vulnerable Children JSNA Needs Assessment

Vulnerable Children infographicThe Helping Vulnerable Children Needs Assessment is the first completed needs assessment of the JSNA’s 2015-2018 work programme. It has been used to inform the development of Warwickshire’s Priority Young People Strategy as well as providing a broader context across the children’s agenda.

There is no single approach to defining vulnerability in children. In some cases, ‘vulnerable’ is used to define key groups of children, such as looked after children and young carers. In others, vulnerable is used to define children at risk of harm and neglect. The pressures and adversity that vulnerable children face will increase the chances of them taking part in risky behaviours and likely worsen their health and life outcomes. Relative to other young people, many of these vulnerable and disadvantaged groups are more likely to be unemployed, to be socially isolated, to commit crimes and to live in poverty.

To gain a picture of the potential cohort of vulnerable children in Warwickshire, each of the key groups considered in the needs assessment have been aggregated. It is worth emphasising that there is likely to be both overlap in these groups as well as a hidden population of vulnerable children in Warwickshire, potentially on the periphery of contact with public sector agencies.

Warwickshire’s population of vulnerable children is somewhere between 12,760 children (if every vulnerable child was living in out of work benefit claimants households) and 41,496 children (if every child in each group was unique).

Key messages from the needs assessment include:

  • In 2014, there were an estimated 118,800 children and young people aged under 18 years in Warwickshire.
  • Over the next ten years, Warwickshire’s 0-18 year old population is projected to increase by 6%, over 7,000 people. The largest expected growth will be seen in the 5-13 year age group, expected to grow by nearly 10% by 2024.
  • The latest small area population estimates (mid-2013) suggest that there are approximately 7,717 children aged 0-18 years living in the areas in Warwickshire which fall into the 20% most deprived nationally.
  • The rate of hospital admissions for self-harm among young people in Warwickshire has doubled from 164 per 100,000 in 2007/08-2009/10 to 354 per 100,000 in 2010/11-2012/13.
  • There is a clear gap between the educational attainment of the majority of children and those from particular groups that are vulnerable to underachievement. This gap is often detectable at as young as 22 months and widens throughout the education system.
  • The proportion of 16-18 year olds who are NEET in Warwickshire rose in 2013/14 for the first time in seven years to 5.5% of 16-18 year olds (estimated 1,010 young people). In 2014/15, it fell slightly to 5.1% but it is still above the national average (4.7%).

The needs assessment and presentations are available below:

For more information on this work, please contact JSNA inbox (

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