The first annual Social Services in Wales report prepared by the social services inspectorate has revealed that a third of social workers in Wales preparing assessments of children in need were influenced as much by their knowledge of what resources were available as the child's needs.
Matthew Colton, who carried out the research for the Welsh Office, said local authorities were required to undertake more work without receiving extra resources.
'The Lion's share of resources are being directed to child protection, while children and families whose problems are less urgent and will worsen tend to receive lower priority,' said Dr Colton, senior lecturer in social policy and applied social studies at the university of Wales Swansea.
The Western Mail reports that a Welsh Office spokesperson said: 'It is a complex area which is not necessarily a question of a lack of resources, it is about utilising those resources available.
'Local authorities need to establish a clearer picture about what they can provide and which children fall within those requirements.'