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MPs to examine children's services provision

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MPs have launched a probe into the funding and provision of local authorities’ children’s services.

The housing, communities and local government committee intends to look at whether funding for local authorities’ children’s services is sufficient for them to fulfil their statutory duties, and the financial challenges in providing non-statutory services.

The committee will also examine how funding could become more sustainable in the short and long terms and whether this could be assisted by innovation in service design and delivery.

Committee chair Clive Betts (Lab) said: “While funding for statutory children’s services has increased during the period of austerity, this masks an overall drop in real-terms spending for children’s services as a whole.

“Over the last decade, services such as Sure Start and youth services have been significantly cut back as local authorities have targeted urgent services over long-term prevention.

“We have launched this inquiry to understand the consequences of current funding levels. How well are local authorities able to tackle the most urgent child safety cases, and how are they looking at the long-term and addressing their causes.”

The committee has issued a call for evidence with an 18 December deadline.

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