"We’ve reached a tipping point where this service can no longer be ignored. It is absolutely crucial that the forthcoming Local Government Finance Settlement addresses this funding gap."
Responding to the lack of additional funding for children’s services in the Autumn Budget, Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“It is extremely disappointing that today’s Budget has not provided any additional funding for children’s services.
“The Government has been warned repeatedly that ongoing funding cuts have left councils struggling to provide the support that vulnerable children and families need, with major charities and independent experts joining the LGA’s call for additional resources to be provided urgently to help keep children safe.
“This vital service is rapidly becoming unsustainable. A further £2 billion funding gap will have opened up in just over two years’ time, and this gap is likely to grow even larger unless immediate action is taken to address the growing demand for child protection services.
“Last year, 90 children entered care every single day. It was the biggest annual increase witnessed since 2013. This has to be a wake up call to government that unless there is an injection of funding to support crucial early intervention services, many more vulnerable children and families will need formal support from council child protection services in the years to come.
“Last year, 75 per cent of councils were forced to overspend their budgets by millions to ensure children at immediate risk of harm were protected. We’ve reached a tipping point where this service can no longer be ignored. It is absolutely crucial that the forthcoming Local Government Finance Settlement addresses this funding gap."
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.
Bright Futures is our call for fully funded children's services.