Responding to a report from Action for Children that warns of an emerging childhood crisis, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“Councils share the ambition of Action for Children to make sure that every child gets the childhood they deserve, and we agree that the Government needs all departments to work together to make that happen.
“As the report rightly points out, early help such as children’s centres and family support services play a crucial role in supporting children with low level mental health issues and helping to prevent problems becoming more serious later on.
“However, children’s social care is facing a country-wide cash crisis, with nine in 10 councils spending more than they planned to last year.
“Councils have worked hard to protect vulnerable children and families from the full scale of cuts, but children’s services face a £3.1 billion funding gap by 2025 just to stand still and public health services, which also help children get the best start in life, have seen cuts of £700 million.
“With demand for urgent child protection services increasing rapidly, councils have been forced to divert funding away from vital early help services into protecting children at immediate risk of harm.
“It is essential that the Government heeds the consistent and increasingly urgent warnings that children’s services are now at a tipping point, and uses the upcoming Spending Review to deliver a long-term strategy that enables councils to ensure that all children can have the bright futures they deserve.”