“Children’s services were already under strain prior to the pandemic, but those pressures have been exacerbated by COVID-19."
Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“If we are to avoid families falling into crisis and causing long-term damage to the prospects of children and young people, we need to ensure councils have enough funding to reinvest in the preventative services that children, young people and families need, as soon as they need it – and before problems escalate and reach crisis point.
“We know these services can make a huge difference, but faced with significant budget reductions and increasing numbers of children needing urgent help, councils have been forced to divert money away from preventative and early help services to make sure those at most risk are kept safe.
“Children’s services were already under strain prior to the pandemic, but those pressures have been exacerbated by COVID-19. Additional funding for children’s social care is desperately needed, alongside proper investment in both children’s mental health services, which are under enormous strain, and vital youth services to help a generation hit hard during the crisis.
“As a starting point, we want to see the Early Intervention Grant increased by £1.7 billion, restoring it to 2010 levels, and the Government’s review of the children’s care system needs to begin as soon as possible. This needs to involve councils, partners, and most importantly those who are care-experienced, so that we can make sure we get the best possible outcomes for all children.”
The Early Intervention Grant has been reduced by the Government from £2.8 billion in 2010/11 to £1.1 billion in 2018/19, as outlined in LGA publication, ‘A child-centred recovery’