Children's services | LocalGov

IFS: £2.5bn Sure Start delivered ‘substantial benefits’

09/04/2024

Children eligible for free school meals who grew up near a Sure Start centre performed up to three grades better at GCSEs than those further away, IFS finds.

Finley Boden: Council apologises for ‘missed opportunities’

28/03/2024

Derbyshire CC has apologised for the ‘missed opportunities’ to do more to safeguard 10-month-old Finley Boden who was murdered on Christmas Day in 2020.

CCN: Two-thirds of council budgets spent on care

18/03/2024

Council chiefs have called for an ‘honest discussion’ about services as new research reveals local authorities spend two-thirds of their budgets on care.

Budget: Boost for preventative services 

06/03/2024

Funding for preventative services has been announced as part of the Spring Budget in an attempt to relieve local government’s demand pressures.

Bradford issued Best Value Notice

01/03/2024

The Government has issued a Best Value Notice to City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council over concerns about its financial resilience and children’s services.

Stoke-on-Trent warns services may be ‘stripped to the bone’

26/02/2024

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has warned its budget plans rest on a bid to secure an extra £42.2m in Government funding.

Children’s needs not prioritised, service leaders warn

21/02/2024

Children’s services directors have raised concerns that government policy does not prioritise children, while their previous asks of Whitehall ‘remain unaddressed’.

Ofsted rates Havering's children's services inadequate

16/02/2024

Havering LBC’s children’s services have been rated inadequate by Government regulator Ofsted after a two-week on-site inspection.

New £4.9m bonus scheme amid childcare expansion concerns

02/02/2024

The Government has launched a recruitment drive ahead of its free childcare expansion, but a major early years organisation has warned it will do little to boost staff numbers before rollout.

More than 1,000 child refugees placed in adult accommodation

23/01/2024

Child refugees arriving in the UK alone are exposed to harm and abuse in adult accommodation because of the Home Office’s flawed age assessment system, according to a new report.

The new Centre for Young Lives

22/01/2024

Anne Longfield CBE, the chair of the Commission on Young Lives, discusses the launch of the Centre for Young Lives this month.

Council bosses back data use to improve care

07/12/2023

An increased use of data in children’s social care could improve outcomes and deliver much-needed savings, the County Councils Network (CCN) has said.

Wraparound childcare: what do parents want?

29/11/2023

Ellen Broomé, managing director of Coram Family and Childcare, shares what must be done to make sure families can access the provision they need.

LGA lays bare ‘astronomical’ care costs

29/11/2023

There has been a 1,000% rise over five years in the number of children’s social care placements that cost councils £10,000 or more a week, the Local Government Association (LGA) has found.

Plan for schools needs local government ‘at its heart’

29/11/2023

England’s children’s services chiefs have set out a future vision to fix an ‘incoherent and fragmented’ education system.

MPs warn local services on ‘knife edge’

28/11/2023

MPs have warned that key local services are on a ‘knife edge’ due to the poor financial health of councils in England.

How the Autumn Statement failed children’s services

24/11/2023

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, chair of Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA), looks at what the Autumn Statement meant for children’s services.

Homeless children left without care

16/11/2023

Almost 6,500 16- and 17-year-olds presented as homeless to their local authority in England last year, according to new data.

Young carers let down by system, 'damning' report says

14/11/2023

The first ever parliamentary inquiry on young carers has revealed the ‘devastating impact’ of care responsibilities on their education, wellbeing and prospects.

South Gloucestershire families not getting agreed respite

08/11/2023

Almost a third of families with children with special needs in South Gloucestershire have not been receiving sufficient respite care, an investigation has found.

Lack of capacity hindering early help

07/11/2023

A lack of capacity is hindering early help services for children and families, a joint report by three watchdogs has found.

Call for curbs on agency staff

03/11/2023

Curbs on social care agencies have been put forward as solutions to Bradford Council’s soaring staffing costs.

Concern over hotel use for care leavers

02/11/2023

Too many care leavers live in hotels or other unsuitable accommodation in Devon but oversight at the county council has improved, Ofsted has found.

Children's services 'absolute carnage'

02/11/2023

The state of children’s services has been described as ‘absolute carnage’ after years of underfunding.

One in 10 county councils facing effective bankruptcy

01/11/2023

England’s county and unitary authorities are ‘running out of road’ to prevent insolvency, with one in 10 not sure they can balance their budget this year.

Biggest children’s care providers make £300m profit

30/10/2023

The largest independent providers of children’s social care brought in profits of more than £300m last year, a report has found.

Child abuse inquiry chair criticises Government response

23/10/2023

The chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has warned ministers’ response to her recommendations has been ‘weak’.

Blackburn with Darwen struggles with £18.6m funding gap

09/10/2023

Blackburn with Darwen BC must prioritise savings to fill a potential £18.6m funding gap by 2027 while improving children’s care services, a peer review warns.

Children’s services hindered by ‘systemic challenges’

09/10/2023

Children’s services are doing ‘inspiring work’ but find themselves held back by ‘wider, systemic challenges’, a council chiefs say.

The case for regulating childcare placement costs

05/10/2023

Cllr Christopher Carubia, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Wirral Council makes the case for Government regulation of childcare placement costs.

Cumberland working to reduce ‘escalating costs’

26/09/2023

Cumberland Council says it is working hard to control ‘escalating costs’, but it is facing a potential overspend of £17.5m.

Concern over Bristol schools’ app use to monitor children

22/09/2023

Campaign groups have accused Bristol schools who use an app to monitor pupils and their families of ‘intrusive monitoring’.

‘Shockingly high’ justice system involvement among care-experienced children

21/09/2023

A third of care-experienced children born from 1996-99 received a youth justice caution or conviction – a finding described as a ‘terrible indictment of the failure of local authorities’.

Mental health top reason for social care absences

20/09/2023

New research has claimed mental health and stress is the most common reason for social care staff sickness and absence in more than 77% of councils.

Cuts see ‘children’s services run like A&E’, charities warn

14/09/2023

Councils are spending more on crisis intervention in children’s services, a group of leading charities has warned today.

Swindon children's services 'inadequate'

11/09/2023

Swindon BC’s children’s services have been judged inadequate by Ofsted.

Nine councils in section 114 warning

25/08/2023

Nine councils within the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (Sigoma) have warned they could issue a section 114 notice by 2025.

EXCLUSIVE: Questions over child age assessments

25/08/2023

Council directors have raised doubts over Government plans to take over age assessments of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Asylum ‘perma-backlog’ to impact councils

22/08/2023

Reforms to the UK’s asylum system are likely to pile more pressure on councils struggling to support unaccompanied children, a new report has found.

Service costs ‘unmanageable’, city council warns

21/08/2023

Coventry City Council has projected a £12.1m overspend in its budget and warned that service costs are becoming ‘unmanageable’.

Deprivation of liberty applications surge

07/08/2023

The number of applications seeking authorisation to deprive children of their liberty has increased following the launch of a dedicated court.

Peterborough City Council issued with improvement notice

04/08/2023

Peterborough City Council has been issued with an improvement notice following an Ofsted report that raised concerns about the council's children’s services.

Progress at Herefordshire’s children’s services

03/08/2023

Ofsted has found improvements at Herefordshire’s children’s services but said more should be done to ensure consistent progress.

Education and children's services top complaints to Ombudsman

26/07/2023

The Ombudsman’s annual complaints statistics have revealed education and children’s services as the key areas of concern, making up a quarter of the workload.

Councils look to end children's services partnership

21/07/2023

The strategic partnership for children’s services between Hampshire CC and Isle of Wight Council could end after a decade of work between the two.

Investigation reveals complaints backlog in Kent

06/07/2023

Kent County Council has a backlog of 170 unanswered children’s services and education complaints, an investigation has revealed.

Increased referrals causing children’s services overspend

06/07/2023

Four in five of England’s largest councils overspent on their children’s services budget last year because of more young people requiring care since pandemic.

'Not acceptable' to treat age disputed young people as spontaneous arrivals

06/07/2023

It is ‘not acceptable’ that age disputed young people from asylum hotels are treated as spontaneous arrivals, says head of directors of children’s services.

Ofsted chief apologises after Doncaster abuse and neglect

13/06/2023

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman has apologised after Ofsted failed to uncover ‘very serious’ abuse and neglect at three residential settings in Doncaster.

Vulnerable youngsters failed by care system

24/05/2023

‘Vulnerable young people are being failed’ by the children’s social care system, a former education secretary has warned.

‘Shocking’ number of children in care far from home

25/04/2023

A ‘shocking’ number of children are being moved into care far from their communities, according to a campaigning charity.

Kent receives improvement notice for SEND failings

06/04/2023

An improvement notice has been issued to Kent CC after it failed to turn around its special educational needs and disability (SEND) services.

Trust for children's services at Star Hobson council goes live

03/04/2023

The Trust tasked with running Bradford Council’s children’s services following the tragic death of 16-month-old Star Hobson has gone live.

Councils lack skills in deal-making, says commissioner

30/03/2023

Children’s commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, suggested support should be provided to negotiate the market for placements for children in care.

East Riding children's services rated ‘good’

28/03/2023

East Riding of Yorkshire Council's children's services have been rated good, less than three years after being told by inspectors they were inadequate.

‘Significant concerns' over regional care cooperatives

23/03/2023

Regional care cooperatives (RCCs) will not resolve the issues around child care placements, councils have said.

Government accused of eroding local support services for children

10/03/2023

The leader of the school and college leaders’ union has accused the Government of eroding local support services for children.

Herefordshire Council to retain control of children’s services

02/03/2023

Herefordshire Council will be able to retain control over its troubled children's services department for now but it will have to demonstrate improvements.

Children's social worker numbers drop for first time since 2017

27/02/2023

The Government has been urged to act after official figures showed the number of children’s social workers has fallen for the first time since 2017.

Commissioner warns children's services could be removed from Sefton

07/02/2023

A Government-appointed commissioner has warned Sefton Council’s children’s services are still in ‘severe difficulties’ and could be removed from local control.

Council calls for review into missing children

30/01/2023

Brighton & Hove City Council has called for a safeguarding review after dozens of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children went missing from a hotel in the city.

SEND advice service requires 'drastic' overhaul

13/01/2023

A SEND advice service has been savaged in an independent report that found it had contributed to a £10m tribunals bill for Birmingham City Council.

'Shocking' findings on children in care

03/01/2023

A charity campaigning for children in care is calling on the Government to address the instability faced by many children in the care system.

Children’s services deal with nearly 220,000 urgent referrals

14/12/2022

Children’s services dealt with 217,800 of the most urgent referrals – those in which significant abuse or harm is suspected – during 2021-22, study reveals.

Warning of 'last minute dash' to find care placements for children

18/11/2022

Local authorities are being forced to make a ‘last minute dash’ to find homes for children coming into care due to a lack of suitable accommodation, a report has warned today.

Number of children in care will soar to nearly 100,000 without reform, councils warn

28/10/2022

Almost 100,000 children will enter care in the next three years if the Government fails to deliver social care reforms, council leaders have warned today.

Improvement notice for Nottingham's children's services

25/10/2022

An improvement notice has been handed to Nottingham City Council over its children’s services.

Councils criticised for ‘inadequate’ responses to murders

19/10/2022

Solihull and Bradford councils have faced further criticism due to their ‘inadequate’ responses to murders of Star Hobson and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Notts council children’s service ‘Inadequate’

05/09/2022

Nottingham City Council has expressed regret that its children’s service is ‘not where it should be’ after Ofsted rated them as ‘Inadequate’.

Low-income parents struggle to access early years services

23/08/2022

Over a third of low-income parents are struggling to access pre-school child development and parenting support, charity reveals.

Council’s children’s services ‘improved in all areas’

15/08/2022

Coventry City Council’s children's services have been rated as ‘good’ following its latest Ofsted inspection.

Ofsted calls for social care workforce strategy

27/07/2022

The watchdog the need is ‘more urgent than ever’ as it published a report looking at the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on children’s social care.

Councils call for overhaul of providing secure children’s homes

22/07/2022

The number of children waiting for a place in a secure children’s home has doubled in the past year, new figures have shown today.

Only a quarter of local authorities have enough holiday childcare this summer

19/07/2022

Just over a quarter (27%) of local authorities in England have enough holiday childcare available to meet the demand of parents working full-time in their area, new research has shown today.

Early intervention cuts trigger crisis interventions

18/07/2022

Councils, young people and families are trapped in a ‘vicious cycle’ due to the halving of investment in early intervention over the last decade, the largest children’s charities have warned.

Charity calls for an 'ambitious' early childhood strategy

12/07/2022

An ambitious early childhood strategy is needed to meet the 'unique' needs of families with young children, a charity has warned today.

Structural change not a cure-all for children's services

11/07/2022

Structural change alone is not enough to turn around children’s services, a new report has found.

Ofsted rates Kent children’s services ‘outstanding’

06/07/2022

Kent children’s services rated ‘outstanding’ with inspectors recognising the council cares for ‘unparalleled numbers’ of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

Over a fifth of children in care see family too little, research shows

05/07/2022

A 'significant' number of young people and children in care are unhappy with the contact arrangements with their families, a new report has shown.

UK to take in Ukrainian child refugees

21/06/2022

The UK is to take in unaccompanied child refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine with hundreds already on their way to the UK.

Child cruelty and neglect up by 25%

10/06/2022

Child cruelty and neglect offences increased by a quarter last year as the country emerged from the pandemic, a children’s charity has revealed.

Children’s trust at Star Hobson council to ‘go live’ next year

07/06/2022

A report to Bradford Council’s executive has confirmed that a children’s trust will ‘go live’ next year as part of the response to the murder of Star Hobson.

Radical changes needed in children's social care, review urges

23/05/2022

Ministers face a ‘pivotal’ moment in children’s social care, with radical changes needed to stop tens of thousands more youngsters entering the system, an independent review has warned.

Children’s services in Manchester rated ‘Good’

20/05/2022

Children’s services delivered by Manchester council have been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted for the first time since the body started inspecting council services.

Children’s care services ‘stuck in crisis mode’

20/05/2022

Council chiefs call for reform of the children’s social care system as spending to provide support to vulnerable children increases by a quarter in five years.

Improvements in Torbay Council’s children’s services ‘impressive’, Ofsted say

19/05/2022

Torbay Council’s children’s services have ‘significantly improved’ after years of underperforming, an Ofsted inspection has concluded.

Children ‘bounced around’ care system

06/05/2022

Research by the charity Barnardo’s has found young people are facing frequent changes of home, school and social workers.

Report calls for a national audit on needs of children in care

13/04/2022

There needs to be a national audit around the needs of children in care, a new study from Ofsted has said today.

Government intervenes over council's 'inadequate' children's services

11/04/2022

The Government has issued a statutory direction to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council forcing it to improve its children’s social care services.

'Alarmingly high' numbers of exploited looked-after-children going missing from care

21/03/2022

Nearly half of looked-after-children that have experienced criminal or sexual exploitation went missing from care in 2020, charities have warned.

Care home closed after children revealed to be ‘at risk’

15/03/2022

A care home in Northern Ireland has been criticised after an inspection revealed that vulnerable children were ‘at risk’.

Councils warn of 'staffing crisis' amid exodus

03/03/2022

Councils have warned of a ‘staffing crisis’ as the number of children and family social workers quitting the profession hits a five-year high.

New £160m fund to support adoptive families

03/03/2022

A new £160m fund has been announced by the Government to help children in care find adopted families more quickly.

Teenagers at risk of exploitation due to 'decade-long breakdown in help'

02/03/2022

Thousands of teenagers from all backgrounds are at risk from exploitation, grooming and harm because their families aren’t getting the support they need, a report has warned today.

Solihull ordered to improve children's services

01/03/2022

The Government has ordered Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to make urgent improvements to its children’s social care services following ‘serious’ concerns over how it protects vulnerable children.

Thousands of children missing out on vital early years help, charity finds

28/02/2022

Hundreds of thousands of children who missed out on early help services are being re-referred to social care within a year, new research has found.

Research finds one in 10 children in care have unresolved immigration issues

18/02/2022

At least one in every 10 children in the care system have unresolved immigration or citizenship issues, a new report has found.

Home Office directs 29 local authorities to help unaccompanied asylum seeking children

16/02/2022

The Home Office has written to 29 local authorities directing them to help unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Wales to trial Basic Income pilot for care leavers

16/02/2022

A Basic Income pilot for all young people leaving care will be piloted across Wales.

Social workers report 'surge' in children with mental health needs

04/02/2022

The number of children being assessed by social workers as having a mental health need has increased by a quarter as a result of the pandemic, social workers have warned.

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