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Children's services expenditure growing faster than any other sector


Spending on looked-after children is expected to increase 9.1% in 2018-19.

According to a new report on local authority finance, issued today by the Office of National Statistics, expenditure on children’s services is expected to increase the most in comparison to other areas of council spending.

Spending on looked-after children is expected to total £4.2bn in 2018-19, a £350m increase on the 2017-18 budget. Total expenditure for 2017-18 was not detailed.

A total of £8.6bn has been budgeted for children’s services in 2018-19, an increase of 6.8% or £542m, in comparison to the 2017-18 budget.

A report by Newton Europe, commissioned by the LGA and published earlier this month, found that the ‘income deprivation affecting children index’ (IDACI) measure was found to be the most significant factor in driving expenditure in children’s services.


Readers' comments (2)

  • The government needs to urgently close down the racket which is social worker agency contracts. Social worker are moving from authority to authority with senior managers and front line staff pushing pay rates higher and higher, and the turnover rates degrading the continuity of care for vulnerable children. Its becoming an immoral trade. The LGA and Government needs to set regional pay band and OFSTED ensure authorities are not cheating. We then need to invest in bringing providor services into regional agencies so councils are not ripped off by providors of specialist services and the cost of foster parents is not increased by private agencies bidding against eachother for them and then passing inflated charges onto local authorities. There then needs to be a £5m investment in each childrens social care authority (more for counties with bigger populations) ring fenced to prevention focused social work and family therepy with specialist embedded in schools as well as local authorities. The cuts in childrens centres in areas with high needs should be reversed and a youth service aimed at teenagers needs to be universally rolled out to divert young people from drugs and gangs.

    This is a national emergency for our children and should be treated as such. Failure is cost more than a positive strategy and childrens lives are being wrecked.

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  • Lots of children are being put into care simply because their parents cannot afford to keep them. Universal credit has a lot to answer for, parents should not have to wait several weeks for payments to help them, and to ave to stand a shortfall of 4 weeks money either. Where children are involved direct payments to keep rent and council tax up to date, food vouchers and an allowance for gas and electricity paid direct to the utility suppliers should be made. So the families have basics rather than nothing over the four weeks they have to 'lose to feel as if they are a working family'. I think that would make a great difference to children handed into care, as parents heartbreaking as it is would rather give up their children than see them starve, as they have very little resources to fall back on, and not all have families to help.

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