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Wed, 06 Jul 22 11:59

Comment on DfE children looked after statistics

Commenting on the latest DfE Children Looked After statistics, ADCS President Charlotte Ramsden said:

“These latest figures show the support that local authorities have provided in the midst of a pandemic to safeguard and protect children and young people in their local areas. The statistics, that relate to year ending 31 March 2021, further highlight the impact of Covid-19 on children, families and children’s services. Due to national lockdowns, the number of children entering care fell as did the number of children leaving care leading to an overall rise in the size of this cohort. Referrals to children’s social care reduced significantly during the periods of national lockdown which was a worry for us, however, local authorities up and down the country worked hard to make sure they were there providing support for those children and families who needed it the most. We are only now seeing some of the emerging signs of the impact of the pandemic with families presenting greater complexity of need, but the lasting impacts will remain with us for years to come. It is essential that we have both the capacity and resources to meet these needs as quickly as possible.

“ADCS research shows that the number of children looked after has increased by a third since 2008, while local authorities have faced a 50% reduction in budgets since 2010. Despite the barriers and backlogs caused by the pandemic, we continue to work intensively with children and families to enable them to stay together safely. Only through long-term national investment in early help can we ensure that children are not taken into care when they could have stayed with their family had their needs been met earlier. The government must provide the sector with a sustainable, equitable and long-term financial settlement that enables children to thrive, not just survive in the wake of the pandemic.”


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