Latest Public Sector News

01.10.15

Children’s service directors worried about Spending Review

Directors of children’s services are worried that “essential services” will not be adequately funded in the future to cope with a sustained increase in demand, PSE has been told. 

Alison O’Sullivan, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), told us that one of the biggest challenges for service providers is the forthcoming Spending Review “and what that might bring on top of the reductions in funding that local authorities have already experienced”. 

Speaking ahead of this month’s National Children and Adult Services Conference, O’Sullivan added: “We’re worried about whether essential services are going to be adequately funded in the future. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that.” 

O’Sullivan, who is also director for Children and Young People at Kirklees Council, said demand is being driven by a number of factors. 

For example, she said an often overlooked factor is a greater number of children in the population, but also parts of the population have greater needs, and there are growing social pressures caused by austerity policies which are “amplifying the connection between deprivation and the need to intervene and protect children”. 

“We’ve seen several increases in demand at the front door and also for us to intervene. We have an overall trend of increased numbers of children subject to child protection plans and increased numbers of children in care,” said O’Sullivan. 

“Three times during the last year we have seen the month with the greatest number of applications to the court in care proceedings having been made. That is a sustained not just a short-term effect.” 

PSE’s full interview with Alison O’Sullivan will appear in our upcoming October/November 2015 edition.

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