Conservative Government ministers are facing growing demands for emergency funding to support Children’s Services in England. Senior figures in local government warn that services are reaching a tipping point as the number of referrals and children in care continues to rise whilst budgets shrink. Councils have done everything possible to protect spending on children’s services and have spent over £800 million more than they have budgeted on children’s social care.
They should not have cut the very services designed to help children and families before problems begin or escalate to the point where a child may need to come into care. However, unless new funding is found, these vital services which keep children safe are likely to collapse.
Despite Tory claims to the contrary, cuts to these services are effectively being used for tax breaks to more affluent families and businesses whilst austerity has hit early intervention services, children’s centres, domestic violence and mental health services.