Children's social care | LocalGov

Children’s services in North face £25bn care burden


Children’s services in the North face a £25bn care burden due to ‘deeply rooted social inequalities’ and the ‘North-South divide’, a new report has revealed.

Social work development programme 'pulled' by Department for Education


A Government decision to end a training and development programme for social work managers has been branded a ‘kick in the teeth’ for the sector.

Over 700 vulnerable children placed in illegal homes


Councils in England placed hundreds of vulnerable school-age children in unregulated homes last year due to the shortage of secure places.

Lancashire plans to build 15 new children's homes


Up to 15 new children’s homes, which aim to provide the 'right care in the right place at the right time', could be created across Lancashire.

Vulnerable children face ‘huge regional variations’ in support


Children on social service plans face a lottery of support with ‘huge regional variations’ dictating their level of protection, says Children’s Commissioner.

Children’s needs not prioritised, service leaders warn


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

Bronson Battersby: Review launched after toddler’s death


Lincolnshire County Council has launched a review after the tragic death of two-year-old Bronson Battersby.

Systemic practice to better support families


Max Stanford, head of Impact and Evaluation at Coram, discusses a new pilot study looking at systemic practice as part of the Supporting Families Programme.

Cash-strapped councils struggling to reunite families


Children in care are unable to reunite with their families due to the financial pressures local authorities are currently facing, survey of councils reveals.

Bradford warns of possible s114


Bradford Council has warned that it will have to issue an s114 notice, effectively declaring bankruptcy, unless the Government provides ‘exceptional’ support.

Council bosses back data use to improve care


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.

Nottingham issues section 114 notice


Cash-strapped Nottingham City Council has been forced to issue a section 114 notice after revealing it faces a significant in-year deficit.

Councils ‘pushed to the brink’ by children’s social care pressures


A ‘perfect storm’ of financial pressures and rising numbers of children needing support are putting local authorities at risk of bankruptcy, councils warn.

Lack of capacity hindering early help


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


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

Biggest children’s care providers make £300m profit


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

Hampshire County Council on ‘financial cliff edge’


Hampshire CC has warned that cuts to services and job losses are inevitable as the council is facing ‘one of the biggest budget shortfalls in its history’.

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


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


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


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

Swindon children's services 'inadequate'


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

Stoke-on-Trent Council at risk of bankruptcy


Stoke-on-Trent Council has warned that it is on the verge of bankruptcy and called for a ‘national overhaul’ of social care funding.

Scandal-hit firm reports losses


A firm at the centre of a residential care abuse scandal has reported operating losses of £5.8m for the year to June 2022.

Auditor finds ‘significant weaknesses’ in Bristol's finances


‘Significant weaknesses’ in reducing overspends are threatening Bristol City Council’s financial sustainability, according to its external auditor.

Deprivation of liberty applications surge


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

Ofsted chief apologises after Doncaster abuse and neglect


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

Outsourcing children’s care linked to worse outcomes


Children in care are being moved between short-term, unstable placements far away from their families because of ‘corporate takeover’ of sector, study says.

Independent review into baby murder case


The case of a 10-month-old baby murdered by his parents just 39 days after being placed back into their care is to be independently reviewed.

Councils lack skills in deal-making, says commissioner


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

‘Significant concerns' over regional care cooperatives


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

Call for 'full reset' of children's care


The Government’s approach to children’s social care will not solve the issues within the system, experts have said.

Lancashire County Council is set to pass its first £1bn budget


Members have been told that the current financial outlook was ‘generally positive thanks to careful management’.

DfE supports proposals to help vulnerable children


Local authorities might soon be able to draw on the support of regional bodies to help them find suitable placements for children, the DfE says.

Children’s social care reform fails to address £1.6bn shortfall


Local government organisations have welcomed a new strategy for children’s social services but warned the proposed £200m of funding falls short.

Top awards for sector in King Charles III's Honours list


Local government figures from across the sector have been recognised in the first New Year's Honours list under King Charles III.

'Shocking' findings on children in care


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

Minister accepts early intervention is 'critical'


Early intervention is ‘critical,’ minister concedes as Government told to publish its delayed plan for implementing children’s social care recommendations.

Council chiefs welcome call to embed ‘culture of evaluation in social care’


Council leaders have welcomed a call to embed a 'culture of evaluation in social care’ and to build on the the children’s social care innovation programme.

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


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.

Shropshire Council facing £18.8m overspend


Shropshire Council has warned that it is facing a predicted overspend of up to £18.8m due to inflation, rising energy costs, and the demand for services.

Ofsted calls for social care workforce strategy


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.

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


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

Evaluation of children’s social care projects ‘encouraging’, auditors say


Auditors have praised the Department for Education’s ‘encouraging work’ when it comes to evaluating innovation in children’s social care.

York council set to share children’s social care action plan


York Council will share a plan outlining how the council will improve its services for children after an inspection said the services ‘required improvement’.

Study links child poverty to rise in number of children entering care system


Child poverty contributed to more than 10,000 young people entering care over the course of five years, a new study has found.

Children ‘bounced around’ care system


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

New funding to help councils drive down parental conflict


Councils will receive £33m to help resolve conflict between parents and and improve children’s life chances.

Court finds in favour of councils over child placements


The High Court has found in favour of four local authorities after campaigners challenged the councils for placing children in care outside of their areas.

High Court rules no discrimination in legal protection for children in care


High Court yesterday ruled that legislation allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to be placed in unregulated accommodation did not count as age-based discrimination.

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


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.

Children left 'at unknown risk' in Solihull


A report was commissioned in December following the conviction of a father and stepmother for the murder of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Wales to trial Basic Income pilot for care leavers


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

Teenagers should not be placed in unregulated accommodation, PM told


The Prime Minister has been urged to reverse a law that allows 16- and 17-year-olds to be placed in unregulated accommodation.

More children in care – the causes, issues, and solution


Danny Wilson outlines how local authorities could help prevent the rapid increase in the number of children in care.

Care system putting teenagers in 'danger' report warns


The care system is 'unfit for purpose' and is putting vulnerable teenagers at risk of exploitation and crime, a new report has warned.

Council chiefs welcome new measures to improve children’s social care


Local authority leaders have welcomed new measures aimed at stopping poor quality supported accommodation providers and rooting out bad practice.

Number of children in care set to rise to 100,000


County leaders call for an ‘unrelenting’ focus on keeping families together as figures reveal that the number of children in care could reach 100,000 by 2025.

Southwark first council to back Fund the Hubs campaign


Southwark Council is calling on the Government to fund a network of early mental hubs for young people across the country.

Peers reveal COVID's impact on children's mental health


The mental health issues of vulnerable children already receiving support have become more severe due to the pandemic, councils have warned in a new survey.

Councils warn children’s social care costs will soar by £600m a year


The cost of children's social care in England will increase by £600m each year due to soaring demand, councils leaders have warned.

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


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

Calls for more funding as child abuse increases


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

Unravelling the knot of education, health and care plans


Leo Jones lays out the deeper challenges that need to be recognised and addressed if the SEND review is going to tackle the complex problems behind rising numbers of education, health and care plans.

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


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


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.

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


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.

Eight in 10 councils forced to overspend on children’s social care


More than eight in 10 councils were forced to overspend on children's social care budgets last year due to soaring demand, new research has shown.

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


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.

Care leavers moved into unsafe and unhealthy homes, says charity


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

Professionals back use of standalone supervision orders


Nine out of ten professionals think standalone supervision orders should continue to be an option in care proceedings, according to a new survey.

Investigation launched into children’s care market


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).

Children’s services face £824m budget gap


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

Council pays mother £8,000 after failing to protect her from violent son


Three young children were left without any protection from their violent older brother after Somerset County Council failed to help their family, Ombudsman finds.

Review pledges to radically reform children's social care


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

Secure children's home places 'inadequate'


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

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


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

Spike in child abuse since pandemic


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.

Coronavirus could create a ‘lost generation’ of vulnerable teenagers


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.

Extra funding to protect vulnerable children during Covid-19


Projects that protect vulnerable children will share more than £12m to help keep them safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

Social care ‘crisis’ inquiry launched


A Parliamentary inquiry has been launched to find out what needs to be done to solve the ongoing social care funding and workforce crisis.

Councils report 'huge overspends' on social care


More than eight out of ten councils overspent on children's social care last year, with nearly half (47%) spending more than their adult social care budget, new figures have shown.

Council chiefs warn social care company debts are putting children's care ‘at risk’


Six of the 10 largest independent groups of providers of children’s care had more debts and liabilities than tangible assets last year, council leaders say.

Thousands of children passed around care system ‘like parcels’, report warns


A new report published today has revealed that thousands of children in the care system are living ‘many miles’ away from family and friends.

Stoke-on-Trent CC given three months to improve ‘inadequate’ children’s services


Williamson issues a direction which gives Stoke-on-Trent three months to establish a partnership with another council to deliver children’s social care.

Children’s voices missing from care records, study warns


The voices of children and young people are missing from their social care records causing significant distress and upset, research has warned today.

Repairing children’s services is an investment worth making


Spending more on services to stop the rising costs of taking children into care must be worth the investment, says Heather Jameson.

Commissioner appointed to oversee council’s ‘inadequate’ children’s services


The Government has appointed a commissioner to improve Medway Council’s children’s services after Ofsted rated them ‘inadequate’.

Councils exceed children’s social care budget by £800m


Funding shortages and demand pressures forced local authorities to overspend on their children’s social care budgets by nearly £800m last year, LGA warns.

More children being cared for in failing council services, says think tank


Nearly 50,000 children are being cared for in areas where council services are failing, a think tank has warned today.

Foster carers need ‘more support’ to look after LGBTQ young people


More support is needed for foster carers looking after LGBTQ young people, new study says.

Stop 'criminalisation' of children in care homes, council chiefs say


More must be done to stop the 'criminalisation' of children in care homes, according to local government leaders.

Adoptive families ‘fighting losing battle’ for support


Adopted children are twice as likely not to be in employment, education or training as their peers, according to the first ever UK-wide assessment of adoption.

Charity calls for protected funding for children’s hospices


NHS England is being urged to keep its promise to protect and increase funding for children’s hospices by charity Together for Short Lives.

Councils warn of national 'special needs emergency'


Councils are supporting more than 130 extra children and young people with special education needs every day, new figures have revealed.

Sure Start had ‘major benefits’ for disadvantaged children, think tank says


The twenty-year-old childcare programme has had major health benefits for children in poorer neighbourhoods, a new analysis reveals.

Council funding system ‘unsustainable’, financial experts warn


Spending on local services has fallen over the last decade and the funding available to councils will become ‘inadequate’, according to financial experts.

Hancock pledges review of every patient in long term segregation or seclusion


Health secretary Matt Hancock today ordered a review of the care that patients in long term segregation or seclusion receive.

What I've learnt from reading my social services file


Louise Hughes explains what impact reading her care file had on her, and calls on social workers to write their case notes with young people in mind.

Government launches £2m programme to tackle child exploitation


The Department for Education has launched a new programme designed to provide specialist support for children at risk of criminal or sexual exploitation.

Councils receive extra £30m to care for asylum seeking children


The amount of funding councils receive to look after unaccompanied asylum seeking children is set to rise by £30m.

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