Bright Futures: children's services

Our call for properly funded children's services.


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. 

Demand for social care services has increased dramatically.

The number of child protection enquiries has increased 139 per cent in 10 years – from 84,100 in 2008/09 to 201,170 in 2018/19.

Over the same period, the number of children on child protection plans increased by more than 18,000.

Councils have worked hard to protect budgets for essential child protection services, but children’s services are about much more than just ‘keeping children safe’, leaving many 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 the next Government for fully funded children's services.

Bright Future videos

We are calling on the next Government to:

  • fully fund children’s services to allow councils to provide early support to children, young people and families, and to properly support children in care
  • reinstate the Early Intervention Grant in full
  • continue to fund the Troubled Families programme
  • move towards sustainable, long-term funding rather than short-term funding pots
  • ensure that the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care provides capacity to boost local learning and evaluation, and delivers clear, practical information to councils in a timely fashion
  • coordinate the development of a cross-Whitehall ambition for children and young people, clearly articulating the role that all departments will play, with responsibility for overseeing the implementation of this strategy given to a named Minister
  • consider developing a new ‘children and young people impact assessment’ for public bodies to use alongside existing equalities impact assessments, to ensure that the needs of children are central to all policy and legislative changes.

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.

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 [email protected]