Children’s social care neglected in autumn budget

Leaders in the social care sector have highlighted a lack of concern for children’s social care in the government’s autumn budget


Local authorities will be given £1.3bn to put towards adult and children’s social care over the next two years, and an additional £1.9bn between 2024-25. 


Additional funding for children’s services may also come from council tax, which local authorities will be allowed to increase by up to 5% in total from April. 


Nonetheless, there is concern amongst social care leaders that this financial support will not be enough to remedy ongoing issues in the sector, including growing demand and staff shortages. 


Recent data revealed a 2% rise in the number of children in care between 2021-22, in addition to an 8% increase in referrals to children’s social care and a 10% spike in child protection enquiries


In response to the government announcement, ADCS president Steve Crocker said:“[the funding] does not come close to addressing the ever-increasing funding gap in our budgets.


He also noted that children are only mentioned 4 times in the recently published autumn statement, which is surprising considering the number of families going through hardship, poverty and in some cases are at the point of crisis. 


“The impacts of the pandemic and cost of living crisis are already being felt across wider children’s services, including children’s mental health, early help and social care but we are yet to see a national commitment to address this urgent need.


“We must be ambitious for our children and families but at present we risk becoming a ‘blue light service’. Now more than ever we need to work with children and families who are at risk of poor outcomes at the earliest possible stage, but only with adequate long-term national investment can we continue to provide this vital support.”

carlette Isaac

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