Lack of funding threatening to put children’s services at risk

More than 500 child protection investigations are started every day, but a lack of funding is putting vulnerable children at risk of harm, suggests a new report.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils across the UK, said these figures show an increase of 200 investigations per day compared to a decade ago.

Investigations are launched by social workers when they deem a child or family is in danger or that a child’s wellbeing is at risk.

But the LGA said its services need bolstering to care for the 90 children which enter the care system every day. It has called on the Government to close the £2 billion funding gap which is threatening to leave many children and families at risk.

Councillor Richard Watts, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said he was “extremely disappointed” to find that November’s Autumn Budget provided no additional funding for children’s services.

“The Government has been warned repeatedly that ongoing funding cuts have left councils struggling to provide the support that vulnerable children and families need,” he said.

“Children will only be taken into care if it is absolutely necessary for their own protection. But if concerns are raised, it is absolutely right that the council investigates. With councils now starting 500 child protection investigations each day, along with providing the other vital services that they deliver, children’s services have now reached a tipping point.”

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell Turner Garrett in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010.