William Eichler 07 November 2018

Three quarters of English councils to cut early help for children

Three quarters of English councils to cut early help for children image

Early help services for children will be cut or reduced by almost three quarters of English councils when Troubled Families funding ends in 2020.

A survey by Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) covering 92% of the country’s local authorities found 75% are relying on Troubled Families for early intervention, and will have to make cuts when the Government ends its funding in less than two years’ time.

The Safeguarding Pressures report also tracks the surge in demand over the past decade, including a 78% increase in initial contacts made to children’s social care, reaching an estimated 2.4 million in 2017/18.

The number of referrals rose by 22% over the same period, while the number of child protection plans increased by 87%.

ADCS president Stuart Gallimore said: ‘A decade of austerity has, undoubtedly, impacted on children and families, fuelling demand for our help.

‘There is not enough money in the system to meet the level of need we are now seeing, and further cuts are planned. This is compromising our ability to improve children’s life chances.’

ADCS also estimates that more than 100 new duties have been placed on children’s services since 2011, not always funded in full.

Mr Gallimore argued the Government had to change what he described as a ‘piecemeal approach’ to tackling issues that leave children at risk.

He added: ‘Whilst funding is welcome, this short termist approach is unlikely to make a meaningful difference to the complex, entrenched social problems so many children and families face. It’s time for change, beyond one parliamentary cycle - without this we will never be a country that works for all children.’

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, said: ‘These findings reinforce the need for new and long-term significant funding for children’s services, which are fast approaching a tipping point and face a funding gap of £3bn by 2025 just to keep services running at current levels.

‘It is vital that the Government tackles the funding crisis facing children’s services in next year’s Spending Review, and delivers a long-term sustainable funding solution that enables councils to protect children at immediate risk of harm while also supporting early intervention to prevent problems escalating in the first place.’

In competition with the PWLB image

In competition with the PWLB

Christian Wall considers what alternative funding channels are available to local authorities beyond the Public Works Loan Board.
Avoiding the precipice image

Avoiding the precipice

As councils seek ways to meet the funding gap, Martin Reeves and Rob Whiteman look at the implications for the future of public services and how we need a mature debate on prevention, accountability and joined up services.
Highways jobs

Change Lead, Adult Social Care & Health

London Borough of Bexley
£41,205 - £48,069
We are currently seeking an experienced Change Lead to work on our Adult Social Care Services’ transformation programme. Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Deputy Team Manager

Brent Council
£41,847 - £44,691 p.a. inc.
An exciting opportunity has arisen in the Hospital Discharge Team (HDT) for an experienced Social Worker. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Highways Estimator

Ringway
Competitive Salary
As the Highways Estimator you will join a busy environment and become an integral part of the team. Hounslow (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Ringway

Joint Strategic Director of Commissioning 

West Sussex County Council
circa £130,000 per annum
The post holder will be able to demonstrate an understanding and embrace the opportunity to address the health... West Sussex
Recuriter: West Sussex County Council

Head of Lifelong Services

West Sussex County Council
up to £85,000 per annum
The Head of Lifelong Services will lead and deliver a new, co-produced, integrated and whole life approach and service working with people... West Sussex
Recuriter: West Sussex County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The December issue of Local Government News looks at the consequences a council may face if it is unable to provide statutory services, the launch of Liverpool’s housing company and how councils can best manage roles in local authority companies.

It also has a special section on green building and energy efficiency including what funding is available to enable councils to deliver heat networks and how councils can pay for ‘smart buildings’.

Register for your free magazine