Cllr Roy Perry, Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, responds to a joint report on neglect of older children from the inspectorates Ofsted, HMI Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and HMI Probation.
“This report helpfully shines a light on a particularly challenging and complex area of safeguarding practice, and also highlights some positive examples of strong joint working in a number of areas.
“While understanding of the needs of older children has undoubtedly increased in recent years, this report is also clear that there is more to be done. It is vital that all agencies, at local and national level, work together closely to ensure that risks are identified early and addressed appropriately.
“However, with severely limited funding available for councils and their partners to meet record levels of demand, children’s services are increasingly overstretched. An average of more than 270 children were taken into care or placed on a child protection plan every single day last year, leaving very little time or resource for social workers to build the relationships with children and families that are so important to effective practice.
“We urge the Government to heed the many warnings that have been issued in recent months and properly fund children’s services, which face a funding gap of £3 billion by 2025 just to keep services running at current levels.”
Helping children and young people to fulfil their potential is a key ambition of all councils, but the local services that can support them to do so are under increasing pressure.
Bright Futures is our call to properly fund the services that change children’s lives.