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Comment on LA funding and number of children in care

ADCS President John Pearce said:

“Local authority children’s services continue to face significant pressures with more children presenting at the front door of children’s social care, often with more complex needs and at a later stage. The legacy of the pandemic lives on but it has largely amplified pre-existing issues. Over a decade of austerity has led to damaging reductions in our services and those of partner agencies, often meaning that we lose the opportunity to identify and meet needs earlier on. As a result, the number of children entering care has risen year-on-year when this may have been avoided had they been supported much earlier by properly funded services.

“Local authorities are committed to supporting families at the earliest possible opportunity but the current method of funding children’s services doesn’t enable this approach in all local areas; there is simply not enough money in the system to meet the level of need in our communities. We need long-term sustainable funding, but the financial outlook for councils is bleak. The recent announcement of additional resource by government is welcome, but it does not solve this long-standing issue, it simply buys us more time. It won’t address the underlying issues and allow us to turn the ship around.

“Research has consistently shown a very close link between levels of child poverty and numbers of children in care. One in three children live in poverty today, the majority of whom live in working families. Poverty is not inevitable and ADCS continues to call on government to prioritise the development and implementation of a child poverty reduction strategy for England.”


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