Children’s Social Care APPG Report
Stuart Gallimore, President of the Association of the Directors of Children’s Services, said:
“This report is a welcome contribution to the debate about demand and financial pressures in children’s social care. Local authority budgets have been reduced by 49% in real terms since 2010, at the same time demand has significantly risen. Understandably, child protection work has been prioritised but this has impacted on the range and reach of services local authorities are able to provide to children and families. There are very clear thresholds for state intervention in family life set in legislation. Where thresholds are met this will trigger a chain of actions to ensure children and young people are kept safe from harm.
“Local authorities are committed to providing as much resource as possible to support child protection work including by diverting funding away from other vital services but this is neither sustainable nor sensible. There is simply not enough money in the system for the level of demand we are facing. Although we have welcomed money for local authorities to innovate, the answer will not be found in small pots of time limited funding for some local authorities, rather, the whole system, particularly early help and preventative services, needs adequate, long term, sustainable funding so that we can meet children’s needs now and in the future. Spending money on children and young people, investing in the skills they need for later life makes financial sense. Without this we cannot ensure the UK will remain one of the safest places for children to grow up. We hope the Treasury hears and acts upon the concerns raised in this report and others by plugging the funding gap in children’s services, expected to be at least £2bn by 2020, and recognising the value of early help and preventative services.”