With responsibility for delivering over 800 public services, councils are uniquely placed to deliver early intervention programmes that improve the lives of children and young people. This could include children’s services, youth services, and mental health services, as well as education, public health and employment
- With responsibility for delivering over 800 public services, councils are uniquely placed to deliver early intervention programmes that improve the lives of children and young people. This could include children’s services, youth services, and mental health services, as well as education, public health and employment.
- Since 2010 councils have worked hard to manage a core reduction in funding of £16 billion through innovation, efficiencies, scale-backs and the decommissioning of non-statutory services. We have previously warned that councils face a funding gap of nearly £8 billion by 2025.[i]
- While councils have largely managed to protect children’s social care budgets by prioritising these over other services, this increase in demand has forced many areas to divert spending away from preventative and early help work into services to protect children who are at immediate risk of harm.
- Councils have seen a significant rise in demand for child protection services over the last decade, including a 158% increase in serious cases where the local authority believes a child may be suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.[ii]
- An average of more than 270 children are now taken into care or placed on a child protection plan every single day.[iii]
- The positive work of councils in supporting the life chances of children and young people is illustrated by the latest Ofsted data on children’s social care, which shows that, in 2017/18, the proportion of council children’s services rated good or outstanding has increased.[iv] We know that without a sustainable, long-term funding solution, councils will struggle to continue this good work and deliver long-term benefits for children, families and communities.
- Councils need guaranteed, long-term funding commitments to ensure that they can develop programmes that will consistently protect and care for all children and young people, but especially those that are vulnerable.
- Councils are struggling to manage the rising demand in support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). The LGA called on the Government to address the underfunding of SEND provision in the Autumn Budget, otherwise councils may not be able to meet their statutory duties and children with high needs or disabilities could miss out on a mainstream education.
- The LGA Bright Futures campaign calls on the Government to prioritise support for children and young people, highlighting examples of effective early intervention services to support children and young people and the growing challenge facing councils in continuing to resource them.
[iii] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need-2016-to-2017 and https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2016-to-2017