William Eichler 20 May 2022

Children’s care services ‘stuck in crisis mode’

Children’s care services ‘stuck in crisis mode’ image
Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com.

Council chiefs have called for reform of the children’s social care system as research shows that spending to provide support to vulnerable children has increased by almost a quarter in five years.

The latest figures, published by the Local Government Association (LGA), show that councils in England spent over £10.5bn on children’s social care in 2020/21 – nearly 25% higher than in 2016/17, where expenditure was almost £8.5bn.

The figures also show that more than two thirds of councils are being forced to overspend to keep up with rising demand to support vulnerable children. Councils overspent by more than £800m in the year 2020/21. This is despite councils increasing their budgets by £708m that year and by £1.bn in the past two years.

The LGA is urging the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care to call for a white paper by the autumn, as well as a long-term funding solution for services.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: ‘Children’s social care services have been stuck in crisis mode for too long. We are ready to start making the changes that will improve our services and make children’s lives better.

‘These new figures demonstrate how hard councils are working to invest in the services children need. However, spiralling costs and increased demand means that funding is largely supporting those in most urgent need of help. We continue to call on the Government to invest additional funding in the strong family help services that can prevent families from reaching crisis point.’

In the past decade, the number of Section 47 enquiries, carried out when councils have reasonable cause to suspect a child is suffering, or at risk of, significant harm has increased from 111,700 in 2011 to 198,790 in 2021 – a rise of 78%.

The number of children in care in England has increased from 65,510 in 2011 to 80,850 in 2021 – a 23% rise.

‘The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care is a once-in-a-generation chance to reform our systems to make sure all children and their families receive the right support at the right time, to enable them to thrive,’ Cllr Bramble continued.

‘The review must be followed by a children’s social care white paper that demonstrates Government’s commitment to investing in and reforming the services that change children’s lives.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.