Local authorities have welcomed £13m of Government funding to help vulnerable children but warned funding shortages for children’s services are making it ‘increasingly difficult’ to help families.
The Home Office today announced that 11 councils have been allocated a share of the multi-million pound Trusted Relationship Fund – a scheme that attempts to intervene early if a child is at risk of abusive predators by helping foster close relationships with trusted adults in the community.
‘It is awful to think so many children have to tackle life without a strong adult figure they can confide in and that this may leave them vulnerable to predatory criminals and violence as well as exploitation and abuse,’ said the minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability, Victoria Atkins.
‘The Government is absolutely determined to help, which is why the Trusted Relationships Fund will support at-risk children through projects across the country.
‘Early intervention is so important to give vulnerable young people the best chance in life and we will make sure that those most at risk will have a positive adult in their lives.’
Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the safer and stronger communities board, welcomed the extra funding but warned children’s services were facing a multi-billion pound funding gap.
‘All councils take their child protection responsibilities seriously and have a strong record of working with local partners such as police, schools and health services to protect vulnerable children,’ he said.
‘This fund will help to support this work, however with children’s services facing a £3bn funding gap by 2025, it is getting increasingly difficult to fund long-term projects that help children and families when they need it most.’