“The pandemic has exacerbated existing mental health issues among children but even before this, the number of children referred to mental health services soared by nearly 60 per cent between 2017/18 and 2019/20.
Council-run youth services have a vital role to play in helping young people avoid being drawn into harmful and dangerous situations. However, these services have seen funding reduced by more than two-thirds in real terms since 2010, which means limited funding for prevention work is being diverted into services to protect children who are at immediate risk of harm.
The long-term funding of schools has become more vital after they have incurred considerable additional costs due to COVID-19, the impacts of which will be with children and young people for years to come.
Girls and young women are being deliberately and increasingly recruited into drug-dealing ‘county lines’ gangs and subjected to horrific acts of sexual violence, the Local Government Association warns today.
“The pandemic has taken its toll on children and young people, including their education and social routines, but this disruption has been worse for those with special educational needs and disabilities"
With councils now looking after nearly 16,000 more children than they were 10 years ago, and the needs of those young people becoming more complex, it is becoming increasingly difficult for councils to make sure that every child has the best home to meet their needs
"Councils have worked closely with schools during the pandemic to ensure no child goes without a place. Despite an increase in applicants, the number of parents offered any of their ranked preference primary schools has increased to more than 98 per cent, with the equivalent offer rate for secondary schools maintained at more than 95 per cent."