Communities Select Committee launches inquiry into children’s services funding and spending

Children’s services in England and Wales will face an inquiry launched by MPs after concerns have been raised about the sector’s funding and spending levels.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee announced the inquiry today following findings that children’s services across the country are faced with significant increases in demand.

The inquiry will investigate what impact public spending has had on the provision of care services, and the approach local authorities have taken in addressing funding constraints.

The Autumn Budget last week announced that an extra £410m was to be allocated for adult and child social care services, whilst just £84m was committed over five years to fund children’s social care innovation for up to 20 local authorities.

This inquiry will consider how the financial support being provided from the budget to children’s services can be made more sustainable, and will also examine the potential for innovative approaches to the design and the delivery of the services.

Many in local government around the country will already know that the pressures surrounding children’s services are reaching breaking-point: last week, a sharp increase in the number of children supported through child protection plans to more than 2,700 is pushing councils “to the brink,” the LGA warned.

Spending on statutory children’s services has increased by 3.2% between 2010-11 and 2016-17, however overall spending on children’s services fell by 7% in the same period due to cuts for discretionary services such as Sure Start. Children’s services across the country are faced with significant increases in demand. The National Audit Office calculated that the number of looked-after children grew by 10.9% during this time, with continued rises expected.

Chair of the committee Clive Betts said that whilst the funding for statutory children’s services has increased during times of austerity, “this masks an overall drop in real-terms spending for children’s services as a whole.”

“Over the last decade, services such as Sure Start and youth services have been significantly cut back as local authorities have targeted urgent services over long-term prevention.

“We have launched this inquiry to understand the consequences of current funding levels. How well are local authorities able to tackle the most urgent child safety cases, and how are they looking at the long-term and addressing their causes. We will also look at what innovations have been made, examining the potential for new approaches in the face of increasing demand."

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!



There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News


Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest c... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-... 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 feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >


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 welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this ye... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar


March 2019

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
25 26 27 28 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

featured articles

View all News