Comment on DfE Vulnerable Children and Young People Survey

Commenting on the latest DfE Vulnerable Children and Young People Survey, ADCS Vice President Steve Crocker said:

“These latest survey findings illustrate the continued impact of the pandemic on children and children’s services. Whilst the number of children entering care has dropped, the overall number of children looked after remains higher than comparable pre-pandemic periods, with some areas still experiencing significant delays in the courts, most notably in discharging care orders, and higher than usual arrivals of unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the winter months.

“Many local authorities are investing in practices to work closely with families to help them stay together where it is safe to do so. By working collaboratively and adopting relational approaches, we have seen many positive examples where children have been able to remain with their family. For example, edge of care teams can work intensively with a family prior to entering care proceedings in order to provide them with the right support to overcome challenges and reduce risk. It is important that we work to keep families together where that is right for children, however, we need greater national investment in these vital services.

“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. 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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