Martin Ford 24 February 2021

Children’s services face £824m budget gap

Children’s services face £824m budget gap image

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

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) said the amount was required just to enable their work to ‘stay still’ amid increasing demand.

ADCS' analysis - based on a survey on pressures during 2019/20 - found half of respondents reported a reduction in funding ranging between 15% and 30%.

The report highlighted dwindling budgets for prevention and early intervention work, currently ‘propped up’ by the Troubled Families programme, which is due to end in March next year.

It found there were 642,980 referrals to children’s social care in 2019/20, an increase of almost 20% since 2008.

Following a drop due to the closure of schools during the early month of the COVID-19 pandemic, some authorities are currently reporting a surge in referrals.

In addition, the number of child protection plans has increased by 76% since 2008.

ADCS’ analysis concluded that variation in the rates of demand for children’s services between councils was ‘greater than ever’.

It said variation depended on factors such as deprivation and geography, and can be influenced by service transformation programmes and numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

ADCS president Jenny Coles said: ‘There can be no delay in levelling up the social, health, education and geographical inequalities made more visible by the pandemic.

'Children’s life chances and all of our futures depend on it.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Children's Safeguarding and Care 

Gloucestershire County Council
Up to £116,391, plus relocation support
We are looking to fill this vital role at a very important time for us.  Our children’s services team is on an important journey of... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Student Gardener

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 2 - £17,715 per annum
We are looking for candidates with a desire to improve their skill and knowledge within the horticultural industry the use of a variety of horticul... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Casual Assistant Coach

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 3 - £9.48 per hour
An exciting opportunity has arisen to support the Community Sport & Wellbeing Team at Chelmsford City Council with a Physical Activity project for ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Developer Level 2

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 9 - Starting at £38,517 per annum, rising to £42,441
Would you like to work for an Investors in People award winning organisation that offers flexible working arrangements, excellent pension and have ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Casual Assistant Swimming Instructor

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 4 - £10.79 per hour
Riverside Leisure Centre is Chelmsford City Council’s flagship leisure facility, offering a variety of sporting activities where there is something... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue