15 November 2017
Children’s social care is being pushed to breaking point, with an unprecedented surge in demand leaving services across the public, voluntary and community sector struggling to cope.
We believe that all children deserve the chance of a bright future. That’s why we are uniting today to urge the Government to use the Autumn Budget to close the funding gap facing children’s services, which will reach at least £2 billion by 2020.
Between us, we have spent years warning successive governments that a failure to invest in these vital services, including early help for vulnerable families, will have long term consequences for our country’s children and families.
Sadly, recent statistics appear to bear this out. The number of children needing child protection plans has nearly doubled over the past decade, and last year saw the largest annual increase in children in care since 2013.
Local authorities overspent on children’s services by £365 million in 2014/15 just to keep children safe. The following year, that figure had risen to £605 million.
Our children and young people deserve better than the gradual decline of services - particularly those services that help children early - that have been shown to make a real difference to their lives.
Councils and the voluntary sector are committed to getting the best for every child. Now we need the same commitment from our government, starting with urgent action through the budget to give local services the resources they need to help children and families thrive.
Cllr Richard Watts, Chair, LGA Children and Young People Board
Javed Khan, Chief Executive, Barnardo’s
Sir Tony Hawkhead, Chief Executive, Action for Children
Matthew Reed, Chief Executive, The Children’s Society
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive, National Children’s Bureau
In their own words
“Councils are deeply committed to supporting children and young people, but the services that many children and families across the country desperately rely on are at serious risk due to rising demand and unprecedented funding pressures. Simply put, children’s services are at a tipping point. Government has to take immediate action and provide the funding we need to deliver the support our children deserve.” Cllr Richard Watts, Chair, LGA Children and Young People Board
"The local authority services that vulnerable children rely on are seeing their funding steadily eroded just as growing numbers are being referred to them for help, leaving some councils struggling to support even those children facing considerable crisis. We urgently need additional investment in children’s services so that children and families get proper help, as and when they need it." Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive, National Children’s Bureau