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Education Policy Institute report on vulnerable children and...

Stuart Gallimore, ADCS President, said:

“Funding for local government is at half the level it was in 2010, despite demand having significantly increased. We are now facing a level of demand and complexity for which current resourcing is insufficient. In addition to this, the LGA estimates children’s services face a funding gap of at least £2bn by 2020. In order to protect statutory services, local authorities have had no choice but to cut vital early help and preventative services that we know can prevent the escalation of need to crisis point, thereby reducing the need for more acute services. An increasing number of children are living in poverty and more and more families are going hungry or using food banks to survive. Whilst this is not exactly news, the long-term impact of this approach is incredibly short-sighted and unsustainable; if support services are no longer in place to deal with issues before they escalate then there will be huge financial and human costs in the long term.

“The report highlights the association of adverse childhood experiences and poorer health, social and economic outcomes for children throughout their lives. The growing prevalence and the impact of parental mental health, substance misuse and domestic abuse continues to be a major concern for our members and their teams. The current approach to funding children’s services does not facilitate the focus we would like to see on addressing the root causes of these issues. Children’s services are not, nor should we be, a blue light service, but after years of chronically under-resourcing these services our ability to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families is in serious jeopardy.”

ENDS



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