William Eichler 27 August 2019

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

The combination of funding shortages and demand pressures forced local authorities to overspend on their children’s social care budgets by nearly £800m last year, the Local Government Association has warned.

A new analysis from the LGA shows that councils budgeted an additional £542m in 2018/19 for children’s social care, but were forced to spend £770m more than planned.

The LGA argues that this was the result of ‘significant’ Government funding cuts and ‘soaring’ demand for child protection services.

‘Councils want to make sure that children can get the best, rather than just get by, and that means investing in the right services to reach them at the right time,’ said Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board.

‘Funding pressures coinciding with huge increases in demand mean it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to do that.’

Children’s services are facing a £1.4bn funding gap next year.

There has also been an 84% increase in children being supported on child protection plans over the last decade, and an additional 15,920 children in care.

‘Up to 1,796 referrals are made to council children’s social services every day – more than one referral a minute,’ said Cllr Bramble.

‘In order to keep children at most risk safe, councils up and down the country have been forced to find savings from non-statutory or discretionary budgets, which includes valuable early intervention and prevention support that can stop children and families reaching crisis point. This is not sustainable.’

Cllr Bramble urged Whitehall to use the upcoming Spending Round to ‘fully fund’ children’s services.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: 'We want every child to have the best start in life, with the opportunities and the stability to fulfil their potential. It is essential that we all strive to achieve the highest standard of services for our most vulnerable children.

'That is why we’re putting an extra £410m into social care this year, including children’s – alongside £84m over five years to keep more children at home with their families safely, to improve the support provided to vulnerable children and their families and enable more children to stay at home thriving in stable family environments.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Estate Surveyor x2

City of Bradford MDC
£28,226 - £42,614
The Council has an opportunity for a general practice and agricultural MRICS/FRICS qualified Estate Surveyors. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Apprenticeship Hub Account Manager

Stoke-on-Trent City Council
£30,095 - £32,798
A fantastic opportunity has recently opened for an ambitious and dynamic individual with a background in sales. Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Recuriter: Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Customer Access Officer x3

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£31,122 - £32,112
We have three exciting opportunities within our Housing Inclusion Service, for people looking to further their career in housing. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Construction Quality Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£30,984 - £35,336
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s Urban Design & Building Services team is looking to employ a permanent Construction Quality Officer. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£37,260 - £45,381
In Kensington and Chelsea, we support people’s independence and wellbeing. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.