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Comment: Supporting Families Programme

Steve Crocker, ADCS President, said:

“Local authorities are committed to supporting children and families as early as possible. There is no doubt that the earlier we provide support to help them overcome the issues they face, the less impact these challenges will have on their lives but also on society as a whole. The previous Spending Review gave us greater clarity until 2025 around this vital line of funding which forms part of our preventative offer to local communities.

“For a long time the programme was designed to be a separate programme but it has now become more integrated into our work and the latest phase of the programme promises to tackle barriers and to create momentum and change. As the programme evolves with each funding round there is a growing emphasis on inclusion and these are welcome developments. We hope that the programme continues to develop and marks the beginning of a long-term commitment by government. One that has at its heart early help, relationship-based practice and a holistic focus on a child’s lived experience, within their family and within their community which would undoubtedly change lives.

“The value of early help and preventative services cannot be overstated, yet even before the pandemic a decade of austerity has meant that we are having to make tough decisions about how funding is allocated. The continuation of the Supporting Families programme is a welcome step but we need a greater national focus on working with children and families who are at risk of poor outcomes at the earliest possible stage. This requires adequate long-term national investment to allow us to provide this vital support where it is needed.”


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