On 31 March 42,330 children were on the child protection register in England, up from 26,400 in 2006.
The figures for Wales during the same period were 2,165 children, rising to 2,880; in Scotland 2,157 up to 2,571; and Northern Ireland 1,639 up to 2,401.
The figures were released at the start of a major international child protection conference organised by the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN), which runs until 18 April.
The conference will discuss the latest research and developments in safeguarding and child protection.
Dr John Devaney, convenor of the conference and from the university’s School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, said, ‘Over the past five years there has been a substantial increase in the numbers of children referred to social services due to concerns for their well being.
‘While some commentators may feel that this increase is a reflection that services for children and their families are failing, at Queen’s we are stating that the opposite is true. We have highlighted the importance of ensuring as many of these children as possible are brought to the attention of professionals.’
He added, ‘At a time when the Government in Westminster is expressing concern about the consequences of families who are experiencing multiple problems, the research on the association between childhood adversity and negative outcomes in adulthood, when considered together, provides some very powerful messages for policy and practice across the areas of mental health and social functioning, physical health, and later offending behaviour, all of which has implications for service use and the wider economy.’