Councils are uniquely placed to deliver programmes that improve the lives of children and young people, as they have responsibility for delivering over 800 local services. This includes councils’ duty to protect children and young people from involvement in, and the impact of, youth violence.
- Councils are uniquely placed to deliver programmes that improve the lives of children and young people as they have responsibility for delivering over 800 local services. This includes councils’ duty to protect children and young people from involvement in, and the impact of, youth violence. This includes organised crime, serious violence and modern slavery.
- We are extremely concerned by the activity of county lines gangs that often exploit children, young people and vulnerable adults to commit crimes. They use coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons to assert control. This is an issue which affects all local areas.
- While councils have largely managed to protect children’s social care budgets by prioritising these over other services, an increase in demand for acute services has forced many authorities to divert spending away from preventative and early help work into services to protect children who are at immediate risk of harm.
- 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.[i] 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.
- As members of the Serious Violence Taskforce, we recognise that whilst the Serious Violence Strategy has been led by the Home Office, this needs to work across all Government departments and agencies. Tackling serious violent crime requires a multi-agency partnership approach across education, health, social services, housing, youth services, victim services, local government, law enforcement and others. Most importantly, it requires a strong emphasis and investment towards early intervention and prevention work.
- The LGA Bright Futures campaign calls on the Government to prioritise support for children and young people and for all Government departments to work together to ensure they are prioritising the needs of children and young people in their policies.