Comment: Covid-19 and pressures on children’s services

Jenny Coles, ADCS President, said:

“Before the pandemic, a decade of austerity left local government funding in a parlous state and children’s services teetering on the edge of becoming a ‘blue light’ service. Covid-19 has exacerbated the cost pressures local authorities were already experiencing and children’s services is yet to reach its peak in demand due to Covid-19. It’s likely we will be dealing with the long term impacts of the virus on children for many months to come. Referrals to children’s social care initially reduced during lockdown but are now accelerating. When schools fully reopen in September, we expect to see an exponential surge in demand for children’s services, this will create real and significant funding pressures, both in-year and into 2021/22. Emergency funding from central government will help local authorities with our continued response to Covid-19, however, I am concerned that when the peak of activity arrives in children’s services, there will be no emergency funding left. This is when children and families will need us the most and we will need the most financial support from central government. The government must recognise that children’s services need the certainty of an equitable, long term funding settlement, children and their families deserve more than just the bare minimum levels of resourcing and support - their life chances depend on it.”

ENDS


Tags assigned to this article:
FUNDING 220 AUSTERITY 79 CORONAVIRUS 46

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