Bright Futures: children's services

Our call for properly funded children's services.

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Helping children and young people to fulfil their potential is a key ambition of all councils, but our children’s services are under increasing pressure. 

Facing a £3 billion funding gap by 2025, demand for these services has also increased dramatically.

Councils have worked hard to protect budgets for essential child protection services, but funding pressures have led to difficult decisions elsewhere, leaving children and young people unable to access support until they reach breaking point.

We cannot carry on like this. Our children should get the best – not just get by. Join our call to Government for fully funded children's services.

Download the summary

Our asks

If we truly want to get the best for children, the services that change their lives must be properly funded. We are calling on the Government to:

1. Plug the growing £2 billion funding gap for children’s services by 2020
Children's services are absolutely vital for many families, and must be fully funded to ensure vulnerable children get the appropriate support and protection they need.

2. Reverse the cuts to early intervention funding to local councils
Without this funding, councils have found it increasingly difficult to invest in the early help services, such as children’s centres and family support, that can prevent children entering the social care system, and help to manage needs within families to avoid them escalating.

3. Share the Department for Education’s £300 million budget for improvement and innovation in children’s services with councils
Devolving a proportion of this budget to councils would help deliver an enhanced programme of sector-led support for children’s services, offering everything from regular ‘health checks’ and training for lead members and senior officers, to specific support for those councils judged to require improvement.

Support us

If you feel strongly that we should properly fund the services that change children’s lives there are a number of ways you can help.

Raise your voice
It’s important that we send a clear message to Government that urgent action is required. Each time the issue is raised with your local MP or minuted in a Full Council or cabinet meeting, you can help to amplify our call for change.

Share our campaign with your residents
Spread the message far and wide that children’s services are under pressure – print and distribute our summary and use social networks to share our campaign and the hashtag #gettingthebest with your followers.

Download our social media resources 

Download the summary

Share the Bright Future videos

Case studies
We want to develop case studies that show the effects of the funding pressures, but also how councils are still getting the best for children, young people and their families.

If your local area is improving outcomes for children and young people, from providing support to catch issues early to supporting families in the system already, then please send a brief description to anna.morrell@local.gov.uk.

News

2 August
LGA: National Citizen Service funding should be devolved to local youth services

20 July 2018
LGA responds to Government vision for fostering and children's social care

19 July 2018
LGA responds to Ofsted's children's social care data

5 July 2018
LGA responds to report on neglect of older children

3 July 2018
LGA responds to children's commissioner report on vulnerable children

20 June 2018
LGA responds to Action for Children's 'Revolving Door' report

20 June 2018
LGA: six classrooms worth of children placed on child protection plans every day

1 June 2018
LGA responds to Children's Commissioner report on children in care

8 March 2018
LGA responds to Domestic Abuse Bill consultation

22 February 2018
LGA responds to new sentencing guidelines around domestic violence incorporating text and email abuse

17 February 2018
Half of children in need referred to councils experience domestic violence

12 January 2018
A child is referred to children's services every 49 seconds, councils warn

12 December 2017
500 child protection investigations carried out every single day

22 November 2017
Budget 2017: councils react to no extra children's services funding

15 November 2017
LGA responds to charity warning that councils can only help children in crisis

12 October 2017
90 children a day entering care - urgent cash injection needed for children's services

6 September 2017
LGA responds to Family and Childcare Trust's School readiness survey

14 August 2017
LGA responds to Action for Children's 'Revolving Door' report

9 August 2017
Children's social care at breaking point, council leaders warn