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The Challenge


Nationally, the North East has experienced the highest rise in unemployment and the highest funding cuts to local authorities. The region also has the highest proportion of public sector workers, highest number of children living in poverty at 30-52%, highest rate of alcohol related deaths and the highest rates of people experiencing mental health problems (ONS and NHS).

With extreme need comes extreme potential. The opportunities for social workers here are vast and varied, and no one day will be the same as the next.


Key statistics


  • Approximately 43,000 children living within the North East are identified as being in need; of these 45% are registered under the category of abuse or neglect. Currently 3,300 children are subject to child protection plans (Child in Need Census 2016 – 17).
  • One third of all children supported by the local authority have their cases open for two years or longer.
  • 1 in 4 children in the North East live in poverty, compared to 1 in 5 nationwide (North East Child Poverty Commission).
  • Middlesbrough has the 8th highest level of child poverty in the UK out of every local authority, and Westgate in Newcastle has the 3rd highest rate for a parliamentary constituency (End Child Poverty 2016).
  • One third of care leavers are not in education, employment or training (UK GOV 2016).

Get in touch with the Firstline team for more information