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Tue, 09 Jul 24 10:00

Comment: OCC report on children in need

ADCS President John Pearce said:

“This new report is welcome and makes a number of important points about the need to put early help on a statutory footing with dedicated, ring fenced funding, and calls for better national data. The government is developing a new family help offer in response to the independent review of children’s social care and the report raises important questions that could usefully play into this work. It is also clear the ambition set out can only be met if sustainable funding is allocated to local authorities for early help services.

“Each local authority has developed its local service offer over time to meet the needs of the local population, geography and context within the available financial envelope. As we enter the fourteenth year of austerity, this will look markedly different from place to place. This flexibility is particularly important here given the broad range of needs of the children we work with in this space, including homeless young people, families with no recourse to public funds and children with disabilities. It is important that social workers can use their professional judgement when assessing the level of support required and the frequency of visits. Therefore, any calls for consistency and blanket guidance must be carefully considered as services must be tailored to individual needs.

“ADCS will continue to engage with government on making sure children’s best interests are at the heart of these decisions.”


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