Laura Sharman 24 November 2020

Councils warn about 'significant' overspends on children’s services

Councils warn about significant overspends on children’s services image

The number of vulnerable young people referred to councils’ children’s services increased by 15% in the first three months after the first lockdown, figures have shown.

A new survey from the County Councils Network found 634 young people per day were being referred for local authority support in the months of July, August, and September.

The survey found domestic abuse and neglect were the two main reasons for referrals to children’s services over the lockdown and summer months. Two-thirds of councils (64%) also said that mental health during the pandemic was one of the top reasons for referrals over the last few months.

Nine out of 10 councils surveyed said they were projecting an overspend on their children’s social care budget this year.

Cllr Keith Glazier, children and young people spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said: ‘As well as an increase in referrals councils are also facing the additional costs of the pandemic, with the vast majority forecasting significant overspends on their children’s services budgets this year.

’This is why we urgently need the government to renew its Troubled Families programme, alongside targeted investment for children’s social care so we can give families the help and support they need.’

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