More than 2,000 children in Northern Ireland are on the Child Protection Register, new figures have revealed.
The Department of Health said the 2,130 children listed on the register at the end of March was a 3% decrease on the previous quarter and a decrease of 1% on the previous year.
Officials said four out of five (80%) children were on the register due to physical abuse, neglect or a combination of the two.
Trusts received 970 child protection referrals during the quarter ending March 31 - similar to the previous quarter and 13% below the number of referrals for the same quarter in 2016.
Half originated from within Social Services, followed by the police with 13%.
The highest rate of children on the register occurs in the Southern Health Trust area - 60.7 children per 10,000. The Northern Trust has the lowest rate - 42.3 - and the Northern Ireland average is 49.1.
Some 69% of children were on the register for less than one year with 2% of children on the register for three years or longer.