Many local authorities do not have the resources to support children who need it, councillors have claimed.
In a recently published survey from the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), more than a third – 35 per cent – of councillors responsible for children’s services said this was the case where they worked. Thirty per cent also said their local authority did not have enough funding to adequately support children under child protection plans.
Councillors from 101 local authorities took part in this survey and two thirds said they were unable to provide services such as children’s centres and youth clubs because they could not afford them.
NCB Chief Executive Anna Feucthwang said the results of the survey have made it “increasingly clear that across England local authorities are struggling to meet the needs of children and young people, including those at considerable risk”.
While early intervention is more beneficial for potentially at-risk children, “prevention and early help are falling by the wayside, as councils are forced to prioritise funds for those closest to crisis” she claimed. The government “must take action” to address this growing problem, Feucthwang said.
Meanwhile, Children’s Minister Robert Goodwill insisted that the government had “made more than £200 billion available to local authorities for services up to 2019-20”. They are also “investing £200 million in [an] Innovation Programme so councils and others have support to trial ways to reform services to be more effective”, including £20 million for local authorities “where risk of failure is highest” he added.
Photo by Bruce Guenter via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.