A SHOCKING report shows the majority of children in care in East Lancashire are aged under six.

Both Blackburn with Darwen Council and the county council said the abuse case of Baby P had contributed to people being more vigilant and reporting cases of neglect earlier.

In Lancashire there were 1,462 children in care in January 2012, of which 398 were aged under five, and 104 were one or under. It is similar to January 2013, but an additional 136 children were taken into care by then.

In Blackburn with Darwen, the number of children in care has decreased from 382 to 352, but 130 children in care in December 2012 were aged under five, with 66 aged under two.

Both councils said around 75 per cent of cases related to domestic abuse and neglect and strong multi-agency partnership work was carried out to identify early warning signs and intervene to ensure the best outcome for the child.

A county council spokeswoman said: “All council’s have experienced an increase in care since the Baby P case. The majority of children are the youngest.”

She added: “People are more cautious and report suspected cases of abuse and neglect earlier.”

She said each year around 75 children are adopted. Children under five are most likely to be adopted.

Councillor Maureen Bateson, executive member for children’s services at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “Lessons have been learnt from Baby P about the importance of early intervention and partnership working.

“Over the last year, we have seen a reduction in numbers of children in care although the percentage of children taken into care that are 0 to six-years-old has increased.

“We don’t take children into care lightly which is why we are committed to early intervention work with families.”