Children’s Services are responsible for supporting and protecting vulnerable children. This can include support for children and families who require extra help and, when necessary, taking steps to ensure their safety. We believe that care funding should be offered to all children, not just the disadvantaged, helping more families avoid debt from growing nursery and school fees.
Children’s Services provide a safe place for children to grow and develop outside of school or households and gives them a safe place to talk. There are a number of universal services that all children are entitled to, including:
- General Practitioners and School Nurses
- Day care for children under 5 years old
- Parenting help and classes
- Family support workers
- Access to a children’s centre
In addition to these services, Early Help services can be offered as soon as problems emerge. This support can be provided at any time in a child’s life, whether the child is very young or a teenager. When getting early help an ‘Early Help Assessment’ is carried out to identify what support the child needs. After this assessment, a lead professional will then be appointed to coordinate any support offered to the child by different professions and agencies. These could take the form of:
- Speech therapy
- Counselling services
- Young carers groups
- Family support workers
- Health visitors
If a child is assessed as having more significant or complex needs, then that child may be classed as a ‘Child in Need’. The child will receive extra help/services, although depending on the needs this may be different for each individual. Children’s Services must provide information about the help they give you, which can include the following:
- Day-care (for children under 5 years old)
- Parenting classes or courses
- A family support worker or similar help at home
- Help with housing
From 2008 to 2019, the number of child protection enquiries increased by 139%, a rise of over 18,000 children. In 2017/18 there were roughly 75,420 children in care, the largest annual rise in 8 years. An average of 88 children per day are coming into care. This rise in cases caused problems with spending, as in 2018/19 the budget for children’s social care was £770 million over budget. Despite this, funding continues to be cut. Between 2013 and 2019, government funding for children’s social care has been cut by almost £600 million and was projected to be cut by a further £100 million by the end of 2020. Estimated funding per child was £571 in 2010, but by 2019 had fallen to £425.
Funding for Children’s Services as a whole has been cut by 23% between 2010 and 2019, an almost £2.2 billion drop. Local authority spending on these same services fell by 6% in this time as well, a £536 million drop. By 2025, funding is estimated to be more than £3 billion under budget.
If you and your child are planning to get involved with us, please check out our Consent page below.