The youth welfare offices in North Rhine-Westphalia had to examine more than 55,000 cases in the past year in which there was a suspicion that children were at risk. As reported by the State Statistical Office (IT.NRW) on Tuesday, this is 1.9 percent more than in the previous year (2020: 54,347 cases). In a five-year comparison, the increase is even around 40 percent (2017: 39,478 cases).
In recent years, there has been an increase in awareness of child welfare risks. This could also increase the number of cases. The State Statistical Office does not research any causes, but only records the number of cases.
According to this, an acute or latent endangerment of the child's welfare was found in around a quarter of the procedures last year. "In the case of the latter, the question of whether there is currently a danger could not be answered unequivocally, but a threat to the welfare of the child could not be ruled out," explained IT.NRW. In a good third of all cases, there was no endangerment of the child's well-being, but a need for help was identified. "The largest proportion, at 40.6 percent, was made up of suspected cases in which there was neither a danger to the child's welfare nor a need for help."