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Record numbers of children put into care

The number of children referred into local authority care in England reached a record high last month. For the first time councils made more than 900 applications to seek protection for young people suffering from abuse or neglect.

The figure has been steadily rising since the public outcry surrounding the case of Peter Connelly, known as Baby P, who died from abuse in 2007.

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, which looks after the interests of children involved in family court proceedings, said 903 care applications were sought last month compared with 698 in January last year and 669 in 2010. Much of the growth has been fuelled by a greater understanding of the risks of neglectful parenting linked to drink and drug abuse.