Government must heed children warnings in finance settlement

By Alison Michalska | 12 December 2017

Local authorities up and down the country are currently immersed in challenging budget negotiations, planning how they are going to prioritise their limited resources in the year ahead. It’s an iterative process repeated year after year to ensure that we are making the best use of the public money available to us. Needless to say, attempting to balance the books while doing the very best for our communities is incredibly challenging.

On average local authority budgets have fallen by 40% since 2010, at the same time there has been a significant rise in the number of children and families in need of help and support. The Association’s Safeguarding Pressures Phase 5 research finds that, as at 31 March 2016, the number of children becoming subjects of a child protection plan increased by 78% since 2007/8. Each budget round gets harder as we are forced to look for savings on top of those that have come before in the very areas we know make a huge difference to children and young people, and can prevent them and their families from reaching crisis point.

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