Today the Housing, Communities, and Local Government Committee has published its report on children’s services, echoing the County Councils Network’s calls for substantial extra funding for local authorities to help cope with huge increases in demand for children’s care services.
You can download our submission to the inquiry here. the HCLG’s report references CCN’s evidence several times.
In BBC News’ story on the report’s findings, it quotes CCN’s response and the network’s warnings that increasingly, councils are warning that they will only be able to deliver the basic core services without extra funding in this year’s Spending Review.
CCN’s response also outlined pressures within the high-needs block of funding for special educational needs pupils.
Below, CCN’s director responds to today’s report.
Simon Edwards, director of the County Councils Network, said:
“This cross-party report is the latest in a long line of persuasive pieces of evidence demonstrating that huge increases in demand for children’s services at a time of significant funding reductions is creating an unsustainable system. We welcome the committee’s calls for substantial extra resource for children’s services, echoing the County Councils Network’s own advocacy.
“Over the last twelve years, the number of referrals to children’s services in county areas has risen from 121,000 a year to 250,000 per year in 2018 – a 106% increase. Counties overspent on their children’ services by £264m last year and a third of the country’s entire children in care are looked after in county areas. As we warned in our response to the inquiry, if no extra funding is made available to councils in this year’s Spending Review, a growing number of our councils will only be able to provide the basic core services in future.
“Alongside funding, the government should seek to continue its Troubled Families Programme. In a difficult financial climate, this programme has worked well in focusing resources and personnel onto preventative measures to help ensure every child has the best start in life from an early age.”