"Councils have been working hard with their partners to respond to changing and emerging threats to children and young people, including criminal exploitation, through online and virtual contact and resources, as well as high priority home visits."
Responding to a report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman on councils’ children in care services, Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“Looking after vulnerable children is a top priority for councils, which work extremely hard to ensure that all children in care get the love and support that they need to flourish. This report provides useful guidance to help councils continuously improve to achieve this goal.
“Unfortunately, many councils are being pushed to the brink by unprecedented demand and increasing
“This report reinforces the significant budget reductions councils have experienced and increasing numbers of children needing urgent help. As the impact of the pandemic becomes clear, councils expect to see a significant rise in referrals to children’s social care and demand for wider children’s support services."
“A varied market for homes for children in care can help councils to make sure children get the right homes for their needs, but fewer and fewer providers are now dominating that market. As our research earlier this year highlighted, much growth is fuelled by enormous loans, and councils have increasing concerns about the financial stability of many providers.
New figures show that the number of children in care has risen by 28 per cent in the past decade with the system reaching breaking point, the Local Government Association reveals today.
The LGA is warning that this huge increase in demand is combining with funding shortages to put immense pressure on the ability of councils to support vulnerable children and young people, and provide the early help that can stop children and families reaching crisis point in the first place. The figures show that 78,150 children are now in care, up from 75,370 in 2018.
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