Too many children and young people nationally do not receive the support they need to improve their mental health and wellbeing. There is ample evidence that, despite increased investment in, and policy focus on, mental health services for children and young people, the numbers of children and young people requiring support are going up.
This report contains a whole range of examples of the steps that need to be taken to achieve success. Many of the areas included are places where there have traditionally been high rates of tooth decay, but where signiﬁcant improvements are now being made.
This publication has been shaped by chief executives who are either former directors of children’s services or for other reasons have been closely associated with leading improvement journeys in council children’s services.
For the LGA, good mental health and wellbeing for children, young people and adults is an absolute priority. Councils have responsibilities for children’s mental health through their children’s and public health services, as well as their role on health and wellbeing boards and as local system leaders.
Looking after and protecting children and young people isn’t just up to the lead member or director of children’s services – we need everyone looking out for our most vulnerable children and young people, and every councillor has a role to play in embedding the corporate parenting principles and doing all they can to support children in care to live meaningful and fulfilling lives.
In February 2019, the Local Government Association (LGA) invited all lead members for children’s services in England to complete a short survey about the current pressures facing children’s social care in their local areas.