Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, responds to analysis commissioned by the Children’s Commissioner of public spending on children.
Responding to analysis commissioned by the Children’s Commissioner of public spending on children, Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“The LGA has warned for some time that the current situation facing children’s services is unsustainable. Last year saw the biggest annual increase in children in care numbers since 2010, and councils are now starting more than 500 child protection investigations every day on average.
“Councils across the country have worked incredibly hard to protect funding for the most vulnerable in our communities despite significant and ongoing government funding cuts, and continue to provide essential help and support for thousands of children and families every day.
“However this report paints a stark picture of the reality facing councils, who cannot keep providing this standard of support without being forced to take difficult decisions and cut back on early intervention services which help to prevent children entering the care system in the first place.
“It also highlights the growing pressures around supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities, which reinforces our call for an urgent review of how this provision is funded.
“Children’s services are being pushed to the brink, and face a funding gap of almost £2 billion by 2020 just to maintain current service levels. The Government urgently needs to commit to fully funding these services so that councils can manage the rising demand for help, while also providing the additional resources they need to support families before problems escalate to the point where a child might need to come into care.”
Notes to editors
The LGA’s Bright Futures campaign is calling for services that change children’s lives to be properly funded, so that all children and young people can have the bright future they deserve. For more information visit www.local.gov.uk/about/campaigns/bright-futures.