Comment on Local Authority Spending on Youth Services

Responding to an enquiry from CYP Now on local authority spending on youth services Alison O’Sullivan, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

“We know that investment in youth services can contribute to building happier and healthier communities and can help improve outcomes for children and young people. Where most local authorities have had to protect statutory safeguarding services at the cost of preventative early offers and youth services, others will have been able to develop innovative ways of reshaping and protecting these services in their local area, especially where they are targeted at those in most need.

“In the face of continuous cuts to local government funding there has been a clear impact on the preventative offer and children’s social care services across the board. Of course all authorities understand the logic of retaining investment in early intervention services, including for older young people, if those services will ensure that those young people will then be less likely to need more intensive and expensive services later.

“We recognise the minister’s concern but governments have historically refused to identify general youth services as statutory and on balance we think that has been appropriate. On the other hand the demands for statutory children’s services have grown substantially across the country in recent years, especially with regard to children in the greatest levels of risk. Local authorities have made tremendous and largely successful efforts to cope with these demands and save children’s lives despite the financial context. ADCS would certainly welcome a deeper conversation with the minister on how these issues connect.”


The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Ltd is the professional leadership association for Directors of Children’s Services and their senior management teams in England.

Tags assigned to this article:

Related Articles