Children's services

Study raises concern over availability and price of children’s care

22/10/2021

Local authorities are being forced to put children in unsuitable accommodation due to a shortage of suitable placements, a study has found.

Report shows Adoption Activity Days have saved £250m in care costs over past decade

22/10/2021

A charity has called for all children in care to have the opportunity to attend Adoption Activity Days (AADs), often seen as the ‘last resort’ for those who are harder to place.

Report hits out at 'dysfunctional' early childhood care system

20/10/2021

Early education and childcare is a 'dysfunctional system' that needs a radical re-think, a report has concluded today.

Sunak urged to tackle backlogs in public services or face greater costs

19/10/2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak must swiftly invest in public services hit hardest by the pandemic or face much greater costs down the line, a report has warned.

Charity calls for every adopted child to receive life-long support

18/10/2021

The Government has been urged to make a ten-year commitment to the Adoption Support Fund to provide long-term support for adoptive families.

Think tank awards nearly £3m to improve family social policy

14/10/2021

The Nuffield Foundation has awarded £2.8m to support an innovative collaboration between local authorities and universities to learn more about how data is used in child and family social policy.

System 'failing' thousands of children affected by modern slavery

05/10/2021

Thousands of children affected by modern slavery are being 'overlooked and forgotten' by the system, a charity has said.

A third of kinship carers warn children are missing support

29/09/2021

Thousands of vulnerable children being looked after by kinship carers are not getting the support they need, a new survey has revealed.

Why a new law discriminates against over-16s in care

22/09/2021

Malcolm Johnson warns that a new law governing decisions about children in care in England could put vulnerable 16 and 17 year-olds at risk.

Charity calls for minimum service guarantee on early years support

21/09/2021

A new report has warned that 4.3 million parents are missing out on early years support services despite needing help.

Charity warns children needing care rises by a third

07/09/2021

The number of children being referred to its fostering service has risen by a third in the past year, a charity has warned.

SEND children being left behind by council

31/08/2021

Children with special educational needs are being left behind by council services across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, inspectors have found. 

Calls for more funding as child abuse increases

20/08/2021

Incidents involving death or serious harm to a child have risen in the past year, leading to calls for further funding.

Children's services in Sunderland leap from Inadequate to Outstanding

20/08/2021

Children's services in Sunderland, delivered by Together for Children, are the first in the country to make the leap from Inadequate to Outstanding.

Research finds long-lasting benefits from Sure Start

16/08/2021

Sure Start centres prevented thousands of children from being hospitalised and cut health inequalities, according to new research.

The importance of clear guidance when placing vulnerable children

11/08/2021

Local authorities need clear guidance and an adjudicator for the placement of vulnerable children in care, says Lucy Harris of Forbes Solicitors.

Children abused for decades under care of Lambeth Council, inquiry finds

27/07/2021

Hundreds of children were subjected to decades of cruelty and sexual abuse while in the care of Lambeth Council, a damning inquiry has found.

Government to invest £45m to improve adoption services

26/07/2021

A new national strategy to end the ‘postcode lottery’ in adoption services has been launched by the Government.

Children's social care review reveals system in urgent need of reform

23/07/2021

Jo Porter outlines how local authorities can maximise the chance of identifying the families that need assistance and provide the necessary support.

Children’s services spending slashed in half, charities warn

15/07/2021

Council spending on crucial services that help stop children reaching crisis point has almost halved over the last decade, new research has revealed.

How to make life good for children in care and care leavers

21/06/2021

Dr. Claire Baker and Linda Briheim-Crookall examine how sharing local authority best practice can boost the well-being of children in care.

Most children in care feel safe where they live

21/06/2021

A new survey has found that while the majority of children in social care settings are happy where they live, nearly one in 20 regularly feel unsafe.

Government announces £16m for virtual school heads programme

17/06/2021

The Government today announced that more than £16m is now available to councils to ensure there is a local champion for children with a social worker in every local authority in England.

Children's social care a 'Jenga held together with Sellotape' says damning review

17/06/2021

The children's social care system is too focused on investigating families rather than providing them with support, according to an independent review of services.

SEND services in Suffolk to be reviewed

15/06/2021

An independent review into Suffolk County Council’s special educational needs and disability services is to be conducted following criticisms by families.

County at 'unsafe capacity' for caring for lone child migrants

14/06/2021

Kent County Council has warned it has reached capacity for caring for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) for the second time in a year.

Patel reveals rota replacement scheme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children

10/06/2021

A new rota scheme will better distribute responsibility for unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) among councils, home secretary Priti Patel has revealed.

Newborn baby care orders on the rise, research finds

04/06/2021

The majority of mothers facing urgent care proceedings are given less than a week’s formal notice that their newborn baby might be removed, new research has warned today.

Children’s social care services ‘creative’ during pandemic, study finds

03/06/2021

A new study has found that children’s social care services have been ‘flexible’ and ‘creative’ in their responses to supporting care leavers during the pandemic, but it also found COVID-19 has exposed fragility in current systems.

Councils should have legal duty to provide ‘early help’ says report

02/06/2021

A new report is calling for a legal duty on local authorities to provide early help to children and families, rather than providing what is easiest to measure.

Charity calls for ‘fair’ financial support for kinship carers

01/06/2021

A charity has called on the Government to ensure that kinship carers receive the same amount of financial support as foster carers.

Care leavers moved into unsafe and unhealthy homes, says charity

25/05/2021

Many young people leaving the care system are being forced to live in unsafe and unsuitable accommodation, a charity has warned today.

Government announces £50m boost for care leavers

24/05/2021

The Government today announced a £51m funding boost to help councils support care leavers and have launched a consultation on improving the quality of housing for those leaving care.

Grenfell director dismissed while on sick leave, tribunal hears

20/04/2021

A council director who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after working on the Grenfell Tower response was dismissed while on sick leave, an employment tribunal has heard.

Councils call for long-term plan to tackle education inequalities

25/03/2021

Education inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic are unlikely to be solved by a quick “catch-up” initiative, council leaders have warned today.

Call for Beveridge report for children

16/03/2021

A 'once-in-a-generation review' of the future of childhood has been launched by the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Investigation launched into children’s care market

12/03/2021

A study into the increasing costs in children’s social care provision and lack of appropriate placements has been launched by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Ombudsman criticises council for failing to investigate mother’s complaint

11/03/2021

Isle of Wight Council has been criticised for failing to properly investigate a mother’s complaint about the way it removed her disabled son’s personal budget.

Home secretary announces £23m to tackle exploitation of young people

08/03/2021

A children’s charity has called for a national strategy to provide help for children at risk of exploitation rather than a strategy focusing on ‘hot spots’.

Children’s services face £824m budget gap

24/02/2021

A funding shortfall of £824m is being faced by children’s services, according to research published today.

Government bans unregulated accommodation for vulnerable children

19/02/2021

Placing vulnerable children under the age of 16 in unregulated accommodation will be made illegal from September, the Government has announced.

Government announces £35.5m to tackle violence at local level

09/02/2021

Local communities are set to benefit from a multi-million-pound funding boost to help support measures tackling serious violence.

Report calls for a joined up public health approach to gangs

08/02/2021

Local authorities are failing to tackle the key drivers for youth violence in their areas, the Children's Commissioner has warned in a new report.

Councils warn of 'harrowing' rise in serious child harm cases during pandemic

05/02/2021

The number of serious child-related incidents reported by councils has risen by more than a quarter during the pandemic, new figures show.

The biggest providers of children's care placements report £216m profits

29/01/2021

The six biggest independent providers of children’s residential and fostering placements made £219m in profit last year, a new report has found.

Pandemic could impact children's mental health for years, report warns

28/01/2021

Damage to children's mental health caused by lockdown and school closures could last for years, the Children’s Commissioner has warned today.

Review pledges to radically reform children's social care

15/01/2021

Council chiefs have welcomed the launch of an independent review into children’s social care.

Westminster Family Hubs lead the way - from partnerships to integration

18/12/2020

Jayne Vertkin explains how Family Hubs in Westminster are transforming families’ experience of services, making early help easier to access.

West Sussex to keep control of children’s services for at least 12 months

11/12/2020

West Sussex County Council will keep control of its children’s services for at least another year following improvements made, the Department for Education (DfE) has said.

Councils caring for 16,000 more children in past decade

11/12/2020

Councils are looking after nearly 16,000 more children compared to ten years ago, new figures have revealed.

New guidance to help councils scrutinise services for children in care

10/12/2020

Councils have been urged to review their services for looked after children after a report highlighted variation in practice across the country.

Minister announces £4.4m boost to support vulnerable families

08/12/2020

The Government has announced that more than £4m will be made available to extend COVID-19 response programmes supporting vulnerable families.

'Data desert' on vulnerable children and county lines, report warns

03/12/2020

Local authorities and police forces are failing to identify the number of vulnerable children being exploited by criminal gangs, a new report has warned.

Secure children's home places 'inadequate'

02/12/2020

Young people are being ‘failed’ by a lack of places in secure children’s homes, research published today has revealed.

Pandemic made vulnerable children 'invisible' report warns

01/12/2020

Vulnerable children became 'invisible' during the pandemic, Ofsted's chief inspector warned today.

Duchess of Cambridge unveils results of UK's biggest early years study

27/11/2020

Only one in four people recognise the specific importance of the early years, according to the UK’s biggest ever study on the topic.

‘Stark variation’ in the well-being of care leavers

25/11/2020

A study has revealed there is a wide variation between the well-being of care leavers across different local authorities in England.

Councils warn about 'significant' overspends on children’s services

24/11/2020

The number of vulnerable young people referred to councils’ children’s services increased by 15% in the first three months after the first lockdown, figures have shown.

Children in care system are being 'failed by the state'

11/11/2020

Thousands of children are being failed by the ‘broken’ residential care home market, the Children’s Commissioner for England has warned today.

Ofsted warns of COVID impact on SEND support

09/11/2020

The pandemic has ‘seriously affected’ support for special educational needs an disabilities (SEND), according to Ofsted.

Managing uncertainty - Children’s services and the COVID effect

09/11/2020

Jo Porter outlines what further steps central government and local authorities should take to ensure that the wellbeing of vulnerable children is prioritised if or when referrals spike.

Spike in child abuse since pandemic

06/11/2020

Ofsted’s chief inspector has warned of an increase in the number of child injuries and deaths uncovered by local authorities since the onset of the pandemic.

Charities tell PM to protect children from ‘winter of hunger’

04/11/2020

The UK’s leading children’s charities have joined forces to urge the Government to do more to protect children this winter.

Supporting children after the second national lockdown

04/11/2020

Dr Jo Casebourne explains why more most be done to intervene at an earlier point to help the growing number of vulnerable children and families who don’t have a social worker.

Survey reveals 'worrying picture' of children's mental health

23/10/2020

One in six children now have a probable mental disorder, up from one in nine in 2017, new figures have revealed.

Local children’s services struggling to support most vulnerable, charities warn

21/10/2020

Five leading children’s charities have called on the Treasury to invest more in local children’s services which are struggling to cope with the double impact of a decade of austerity and a pandemic.

Calls for a recovery package to tackle childhood vulnerability

29/09/2020

A comprehensive recovery package is needed to help children deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the Children’s Commissioner for England has said today.

Two-thirds of adoptive families without a support plan, report finds

29/09/2020

Thousands of vulnerable adopted children are failing to get the support they need, a charity has warned today.

Calls to ban unregulated accommodation for under 18s in care

10/09/2020

Councils should be banned from placing vulnerable children in unregulated accommodation such as hostels or caravans, the Children’s Commissioner has said today.

Councils 'deeply concerned' about fall in children's social care referrals

07/09/2020

The number of children being referred to social care services fell by a fifth during lockdown, council leaders have warned.

Half of professionals feel childhood obesity is a child protection issue

03/09/2020

Nearly half of health and social workers believe child obesity should be considered a child protection issue, according to a new study.

Unlocking the opportunity to transform children and young people services

19/08/2020

Hannah Saunders and Fiona Gold say now is the time to act and transform children and young people services.

Councils warned about discriminating against autistic children

06/08/2020

More than 40 councils have been criticised for unlawfully discriminating against autistic children.

Councils call for adequate funding to tackle modern slavery

30/07/2020

Council leaders have warned children's services are under significant pressure after the number of child modern slavery referrals increased by 1,400% in five years.

Call to 'supercharge' early years services

17/07/2020

Early years services are failing to target the children that most need support, a report has warned today.

Coronavirus is jeopardising child welfare

16/07/2020

Chris Lloyd-Smith examines how the coronavirus is endangering child welfare, posing a challenge to local authority childcare and protection services.

New support for 'unseen' vulnerable children

09/07/2020

A new service to help vulnerable children and young people who don't meet usual social care thresholds has been launched by a coalition of charities.

Coronavirus could create a ‘lost generation’ of vulnerable teenagers

07/07/2020

Thousands of vulnerable teenagers are at risk of falling through gaps in the school and social care systems, the Children’s Commissioner for England has warned today.

Thousands of children 'at risk' when EU Settlement closes, report warns

01/07/2020

Thousands of children are at risk of being left in 'legal limbo' when the EU Settlement Scheme closes next year, a report has warned today.

Hand health powers to elected mayors, says report

23/06/2020

Health powers should be handed to elected mayors as part of a ‘rejuvenated and fortified wave of devolution,’ a think-tank report has suggested.

Charity declares ‘state of emergency’ in foster care

23/06/2020

A children’s charity has warned that the number of children needing foster care has increased by 44% during the pandemic.

Covid-19 recovery will ‘pile on pressure’ for families, report warns

16/06/2020

A report released today reveals concerns about the impact the coronavirus crisis has had on vulnerable children and families.

Funding boost for councils caring for asylum seeking children

09/06/2020

Councils will receive increased funding to look after children seeking asylum, the Government has said.

Middlesbrough to keep control of its children's services

05/06/2020

Middlesbrough Council will be allowed to keep control of its 'inadequate' children's services to allow further improvements to be made.

Charity warns of increase in gang activity post-lockdown

03/06/2020

Criminal gangs are using new ways of exploiting children in the wake of coronavirus, a new report has warned.

Kent leader warns of migrant crossing ‘crisis’

26/05/2020

The council's leader has asked the home secretary to make it mandatory for authorities to provide support for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC).

Survey highlights child abuse could go unreported during lockdown

18/05/2020

Child abuse could go unreported during lockdown as a quarter of adults do not know where to go for help, a survey has found.

Charities call for 'vital' early intervention funding to safeguard children

18/05/2020

Funding cuts to children's services have left councils unable to cope with the current crisis, charities have warned today.

Vulnerable children falling behind at school, report warns

27/04/2020

Children who need a social worker are 'significantly' behind other children at school, new research has revealed.

Warnings that vulnerable children 'hidden from sight' during lockdown

27/04/2020

New local area profiles will help councils identify how many vulnerable children are in their area.

Domestic abuse puts children at more risk of exploitation, review warns

01/04/2020

There is an overlap between children’s experience of domestic abuse and their offending behaviour, a review has concluded today.

Calls to mobilise an 'army of volunteers' to protect children during lockdown

01/04/2020

The Children’s Commissioner for England has warned an ‘army’ of volunteers are needed to protect vulnerable children while schools are closed.

Devon CC’s children’s services criticised for ‘serious failures’

19/03/2020

Ofsted has found ‘serious failures’ in services for young people in Devon as they discovered a minority of care leavers had been living in tents.

Yorkshire council criticises Ofsted rating based on ‘short inspection visit’

16/03/2020

A local authority in Yorkshire has said it is ‘disappointed’ by an Ofsted rating of its children’s social care services which concluded they were ‘inadequate’.

Council first outside London to transform flagging children’s services to ‘outstanding’

03/03/2020

A Midlands council has become the first outside of London to transform children’s services from ‘requires improvement to be good’ to ‘outstanding’.

Consultation on dedicated school leaders launched

25/02/2020

The Government today launched a consultation on plans to place a dedicated school leader in every school to help vulnerable children achieve more and ensure they attend lessons.

Councils overspent £3bn on children's social care in five years

21/02/2020

Demand and funding pressures have forced councils to overspend on children’s social care budgets by more than £3bn in the past five years, new analysis has revealed.

Cuts will lead to tragedy, health visitors warn

20/02/2020

Nearly half of health visitors in England worry a tragedy is waiting to happen where they work due to cuts to public health budgets.

Government to ban unregulated children's homes

12/02/2020

Children aged under 16 will no longer be placed in unregulated accommodation under proposals announced by the Government.

Council announces £4.4m for ‘significantly declined’ children’s services

07/02/2020

Hull City Council has announced a series of measures to improve children’s services after Ofsted concluded that the experiences of children in care had ‘significantly declined.’

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
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