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Austerity, rationing and inequity: trends in CYP services...

Commenting on a study by Huddersfield and Sheffield universities on local authority expenditure Alison Michalska, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

“This study joins a growing number of reports which highlight the visible impact of austerity on children and their families, particularly the most vulnerable, and the deepening financial and demand pressures facing local authorities across the country. Since 2010 there has been an average 40% reduction in funding for local authorities whilst demand for our services has increased significantly. Local authorities have worked hard to protect children and their families from budget cuts but this has come at the cost of vital early help, edge of care and community services such as children’s centres, youth services and leisure centres. These services can provide a lifeline to many vulnerable families helping them make positive, sustained changes in their lives and improving their health, wellbeing and outcomes. No child or family should be disadvantaged because of where they live but this study finds that families living in more deprived local authorities have borne the brunt of these cuts with spending on family support in these areas being cut by over half. These families are often the ones who could benefit from support the most. Our ability to intervene at the earliest opportunity and make the biggest difference in the lives of children and their families is being seriously eroded by reducing budgets, this is only storing up huge financial and human costs for the future. ADCS, the LGA and others have repeatedly called on government to urgently close the £2bn funding gap facing children’s services by 2020, a gap that if ignored will continue to grow and the needs of children and families will continue to be left unmet. Preventive work to manage demand is the only way to secure a sustainable fiscal future of local government but most importantly, this investment is the best chance we have to turn around the lives of the most disadvantaged children.”

ENDS


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