Section 251 data release

Commenting for CYP Now, Ian Thomas, Chair of the Association’s Resources & Sustainability Policy Committee, said:

“Whilst the Association has concerns about the reliability of section 251 data this latest dataset shows that councils continue to protect and invest further in statutory safeguarding services at the cost of early help and preventative services. We know from our own Safeguarding Pressures Phase 5 research (Dec 2016) that the needs of children and families are becoming more complex, neglect continues to be the most prevalent category of abuse in child protection plans and the impact of the ‘toxic trio’ – of parental mental health, substance misuse and domestic abuse continues to be a growing reason for the involvement of social care. As support services to help tackle these issues reduce, the window of opportunity to address the root causes of these problems closes. There will be huge financial and human costs for all local authorities as a result. We need to take a longer term strategic view of how we invest in early intervention and prevention now given that the LGA estimates children’s services face a funding shortfall of £1.9bn by 2020.”


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