Councils are looking after nearly 16,000 more children compared to ten years ago, new figures have revealed.
The Local Government Association (LGA) warned that despite the increase in the number of looked after children, councils have lost £15bn in core government funding in the same time period.
Cllr Judith Blake, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: ‘While councils have increased children’s social care budgets at the expense of other services, this has not been able to keep pace with demand.
’If children in care, and those on the edge of care, are to thrive, councils must have the funding they need to pay for the very best support, from help with education and mental health through to support for foster carers and nurturing children’s homes.’
Adoption UK warned that the figures reveal that the number of looked after children being adopted has fallen by a third compared to five years ago.
Adoption?UK's?chief executive, Sue Armstrong Brown, said: ‘There is no right number of adoptions, but this continuing downward trajectory is very worrying. It does not bode well for next year's figures, which will undoubtedly be exacerbated by the pandemic.
’While?we welcomed investment by the Government?in this year’s #YouCanAdopt campaign, to recruit more adoptive parents, we must question whether this initiative will be enough. The fall out from the pandemic, particularly lockdown, will almost certainly lead to an increase in the number of children in local authority care.’