Responding to a report by the National Audit Office on children’s social care, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“Children’s social care is facing a country-wide cash crisis and this report rightly recognises the huge demand that councils are experiencing while attempting to manage significant funding reductions.
“There is no right amount for councils to spend on children’s services and, as our own research has found, the majority of spend variation is due to wider economic or geographic circumstances largely outside their control.
“Nine in 10 councils had to spend more than they had budgeted for children’s social care last year. It is clear that the most urgent and pressing issue is not variability but the very real funding crisis facing vital children’s services across the country, which face a funding gap of £3.1 billion by 2025.
“This is forcing many to cut the early intervention services which can help children avoid needing more serious and costly care later on.
“It is vital 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 meet the growing need for support from some of the most vulnerable children in society.”