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State of local government finance 2018 survey

Commenting on the results of a survey on local government finance Alison Michalska, President of ADCS, said:

“It’s unsurprising that many responses to this survey consider children’s services the greatest immediate pressure on council finances, above adult social care. There are more children and young people in our society than ever before and they and their families are facing mounting pressures, with little or no early help available. Local authorities are committed to providing high quality services for vulnerable children and their families but the reality we face is cutting the very services we know reduce future demand for more costly services and, most importantly, improve outcomes for children and their families. We are now facing a level of demand and complexity for which current resourcing is insufficient. Due to the statutory nature of child protection councils must spend in this area even where there is no budget to do so, money has to be redirected from other vital services further impacting on the range and reach of services and support available to children and families. The LGA found that three quarters of local authorities in England exceeded their children’s services budgets in 2015/16. ADCS has repeatedly warned against incessant cuts to children’s services budgets, our concern is we could become a wholly ‘blue light’ service. Unless government invests in our children now by addressing the funding gap in children’s services, expected to be £2bn by 2020, whilst also reaffirming its commitment to preventative services for children and their families the life chances of generations of children will be at risk.”


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