Laura Sharman 12 February 2015

Social problems costing £17bn a year, research warns

Social problems costing £17bn a year, research warns image

Tackling damaging social problems affecting children and young people costs the country nearly £17bn a year, new research shows.

Analysis from the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) reveals the annual cost of helping young people with issues such as going into care, unemployment and youth crime.

The figures show that councils spend £5bn a year in looking after children in care and £4bn on benefits for young people not in education, employment or training.

The EIF warns public services should move towards addressing problems earlier, as the figures do not show the cost these issues have on people in later life.

It wants the Government to implement a ring-fenced Early Intervention Investment Fund, and for Early Intervention to target reducing the cost of late intervention on public services by 10% by 2020.

Carey Oppenheim, EIF chief executive, said: ‘Our research lays bare how much the Government spends each year tackling the social problems that Early Intervention is designed to prevent. Yet our public services remain increasingly geared towards picking up the pieces from the harmful and costly consequences of failure.

‘As a nation, this is something we can no longer afford to ignore.’

A Government spokesperson said it had increased early intervention funding and new measures to tackle social problems were already showing results. Some of these include fewer young people entering the criminal justice system and a record number of children being adopted.

'We give councils the freedom to use their funding to meet the needs of young people in their area,' said the spokesperson.

'We know the best councils take advantage of this to look for innovative ways to intervene and avoid problems later on. The earlier we can tackle issues the better, but this must be based on clear evidence. This is precisely why we set up the Early Intervention Foundation to advise on how best to respond to this challenge.'

Time for a council tax precept to fund CCTV image

Time for a council tax precept to fund CCTV

The crisis in funding for CCTV systems is not being addressed by the government or the police and is leading to the curtailment of this vital service in local authorities across the country. How can we ensure that communities that want this service continue to receive it, asks Tom Reeve.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Targeted Youth Advisor

Essex County Council
£25500 - £30000 per annum
Targeted Youth Advisor Fixed Term, Full Time £25,500 - £30,000 Per Annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Targeted Youth Adviser

Essex County Council
£25500 - £30000 per annum
Targeted Youth Adviser Fixed Term, Full Time £25,500 to £30,000 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Training Specialist / SEND Support - Travel Trainer

Essex County Council
£21454 - £22454 per annum
Training Specialist / SEND Support - Travel Trainer Permanent, Full Time Up to £22,454 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Adult Occupational Therapists - Chelmsford

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Adult Occupational Therapists - ChelmsfordPermanent, Full Time£32,065 - £43,839 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Supported Learning Tutor

Essex County Council
Up to £26801 per annum
Supported Learning TutorPermanent, Full TimeUp to £26,801 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue