Laura Sharman 12 December 2017

Councils dealing with 500 child protection investigations every day

The number of child protection investigations being started by councils has risen at an ‘alarming’ rate of more than 500 a day, according to new figures.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the number has increased from 200 investigations per day in the past ten years.

It is calling for the Government to use the finance settlement to help close the £2bn funding gap facing children’s services by 2020.

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: ‘It was extremely disappointing that last month’s Budget provided no additional funding for children’s services.

‘The Government has been warned repeatedly that ongoing funding cuts have left councils struggling to provide the support that vulnerable children and families need.’

Action for Children said their own research showed the impact budget cuts were having on vulnerable children.

Eleanor Briggs, head of policy and research, said: ‘Our Freedom of Information research earlier this year found that up to 140,000 of the most vulnerable children in England – those referred to social services by teachers, police or health professionals for concerns including abuse and neglect - are not getting help because their needs fall short of the criteria for support.

‘After they are assessed and then closed to social care, the needs of this group of vulnerable children would historically have been met by early help services such as children’s centres or domestic violence programmes – but as these services have been reduced or closed, many now no longer receive any support.’

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