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ADCS responds to Department for Education’s Vulnerable Children...

Responding to the Department for Education’s Vulnerable Children and Young People Survey: Summary of Waves 1 to 10, Jenny Coles, ADCS President, said:

“Referrals to children’s social care fell during lockdown and our staff have worked tirelessly to adapt and ensure that children and families remain safe, despite many being less visible at school or in health settings. The summary report of waves 1 – 10 of the Department’s survey shows that overall the number of referrals over this period remains lower than in previous years, although we have seen gradual increases with each passing wave of the survey as restrictions ease and the majority of children return to school.

Children’s services departments across the country are now returning to business as usual as schools have now fully opened and children are in contact more with professionals who can raise any safeguarding concerns. As such, working patterns and contact with vulnerable children is now more consistent with usual ways of working. Many parts of the workforce have been able to adapt to remote working and this has thankfully resulted in a lower proportion of social workers not being able to work due to Covid-19. However, when the anticipated peak in referrals to children’s services arrives, we will need government to support us. Children’s services already faced a significant funding gap before the pandemic hit and Covid-19 has only increased those cost pressures, for example, as highlighted in this report, around four in five local authorities have reported a rise in weekly foster and residential placements costs due to Covid-19. The government must act now to provide children’s services with the certainty of an ambitious and sustainable long term funding settlement. Children and their families deserve more than just the bare minimum levels of resourcing and support.”


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