THE number of children in care across Blackburn with Darwen has reached historically high levels.

Executive member for children, young people and education, Cllr Maureen Bateson, said there were currently 409 children in the council's care across the borough.

And she added this pointed to unacceptable levels of risk to children and young people.

Cllr Bateson will update members in a report to go before council forum next week.

She said: "Regional analysis and national publicity has pointed to increasing demand pressures on children's services, with particular pressures in the north and north west.

"The north generally has seen rising numbers of children in care over recent years, with particular pressure around children and young people in older age groups with very complex social and behavioural issues.

"The number of children subject to child protection plans remains relatively high at 265, and the total number of children and young people open to children’s social care remains high at 1,827.

"In addition, over 790 children are being supported by Early Help services, which means that nearly 7 per cent of the 0 to 19 year old child population is being supported by the council’s children’s services or partner agencies.

"32 children have been adopted since April 2018 and 10 children are currently placed in adoptive placements."