William Eichler 01 May 2018

Whitehall cuts ‘undermining’ support services for vulnerable children

Government funding reductions have forced councils to cut back on early support services for vulnerable children, an education policy think tank has found.

A new report into vulnerable children and social care in England has revealed the extent of the impact of the Government’s austerity agenda on support services for children.

Published by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), it found local authorities have been forced to cut early support services since 2010, as well as use their budget reserves, just to maintain statutory services.

It also found over half of councils in all regions except London were rated ‘Requires Improvement’ or ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted.

Over the last eight years, there has been a rise in the number of children classed as ‘in need’ and issued with Child Protection Plans and council care orders.

Children in need are those deemed unlikely to achieve reasonable health and development without the provision of services, including those with a disability.

This increase is partly due to social care authorities reacting to high-profile serious case reviews, but, the EPI found, it is also the result of cuts to early intervention (EI) services and deprivation.

The report also warned social care staff were showing signs of ‘strain’, with ‘burn out’ becoming more common. In 2017, 63% of leavers had worked less than five years.

In this ‘challenging context’ - as the EPI report described it - local authorities have been forced to rely more on agency workers to fill in the high rates of vacancies.

The think tank noted this high rate of staff turnover also had a negative impact on children in need, who found it difficult to develop trusting relationships in this context.

More positively, the number of starters was substantially higher in 2017 compared to previous years. The EPI suggested this may be the result of local recruitment and retention schemes.

The EPI’s report concluded that with child poverty projected to increase, the strains on the system are unlikely to decrease without significant additional spending.

Can local government take much more? image

Can local government take much more?

Dr Andrew Walker, head of Research, LGIU reflects on the Autumn Statement and asks: what might it take for the Government to pay attention to local authorities?
Getting the most out of LGPS funds  image

Getting the most out of LGPS funds

Isio partner and Public Services leader Steve Simkins reflects on the Autumn Statement announcement of a surprise Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) target.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Safeguarding and Support

Swindon Borough Council
£95,171 (spot salary)
Improving outcomes for our children and young people in Swindon... Swindon, Wiltshire
Recuriter: Swindon Borough Council

Principal Social Worker / Care Manager - Northampton Central, North and East

West Northamptonshire Council
£40316 - £43675
What will you be doing? As a champion of social work, you’ll lead by example, using your skills to encourage a culture of innovation, reflection and learning within the service, using practice evaluations and learning reviews to inform this work. The ex Northampton
Recuriter: West Northamptonshire Council

Data Officer - 18 month Fixed Term Contract

Essex County Council
£22361 - £24527 per annum + + 26 Days Leave & Defined Benefit Pension
Data OfficerFixed Term - 18 months duration, Full Time - 37 Hours Per WeekUp to £24,527 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Service Assistant

Essex County Council
Up to £22361 per annum
Customer Service AssistantPermanent, Part TimeUp to £22,361 per annum (FTE)Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Service Assistant

Essex County Council
Up to £22361 per annum
Customer Service AssistantPermanent, Full TimeUp to £22,361 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council
Linkedin Banner

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.