Education

01.05.19

‘Starved’ children’s services need £3bn funding as cuts push councils to ‘breaking point’, say MPs

Children’s services in England are at “breaking point” and need a minimum funding boost of at least £3.1bn funding boost to cope with demand, MPs have warned in a parliamentary report.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee said that current levels of funding are unsustainable, but that increased funding must also go hand-in-hand with systemic change across local authority children’s services.

It recommends a minimum increase to core grant funding of £3.1bn up until 2025 in the upcoming Spending Review, and states that the government must better understand the pressures facing social workers and councils.

Overall, England’s local authorities are grappling with budget cuts of 29% since 2010, and the committee is the latest in a long line of organisations to deliver a stark warning about the state of children’s service across the country.

The LGA has said the services are “at tipping point,” whilst the Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield said councils were being “starved” of money and data from the National Audit Office (NAO) revealed that 91% of local authorities overspent their children’s services budget this year.

Committee chair Clive Betts said: “Over the last decade we have seen a steady increase in the number of children needing support, whilst at the same time funding has failed to keep up.

“It is clear that this approach cannot be sustained, and the government must make serious financial and systemic changes to support local authorities in helping vulnerable children.

“They must understand why demand is increasing and whether it can be reduced. They must ensure that the funding formula actually allows local authorities to meet the obligations for supporting children that the government places on them.

“We have reached a crisis point and action is needed now.”

The committee’s report said the 2019 Spending Review must reflect the increased demand and pressures, and a successor to the Troubled Families Programme must be announced in advance.

Systemic and strategic changes must be delivered alongside increased funding, and the government should review the key factors driving demand and majorly improve turnover and retention of the children’s services.

Anne Longfield commented: “We cannot just continue to cross our fingers and hope that vulnerable children will be all right – and this report must be a final wake-up call to the government.”

Image credit - fizkes

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Government announces £19m fund to support young people leaving care

23/10/2019Government announces £19m fund to support young people leaving care

Support programmes for young people leaving care, totalling £19m, announced today (Oct 23) ahead of National Care Leavers Week. To mar... more >
£1m boost to tackle illegal waste removal in the UK

22/10/2019£1m boost to tackle illegal waste removal in the UK

The Government has announced today (Oct 22) that up to £1m in funding is being awarded to fight waste crime in the UK. The money will ... more >
Almost £2m Rough Sleeping grant awarded for health of homeless

22/10/2019Almost £2m Rough Sleeping grant awarded for health of homeless

A Rough Sleeping grant of £1.9m has today (Oct 22) been awarded to 6 projects involving partnerships between Local Authorities (LAs) and Cl... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been th... more > more last word articles >
View all News

the raven's daily blog

NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

08/10/2019NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

Hayley Clark, the acting head of development and impact at the NSPCC, talks about the significant gap in support services for children who have been sexually abused and the Home Office’s new framework for commissioners. The complex and fragmented commissioning landscape for child sexual abuse support services has resulted in a signi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News