LGA calls for more government funding to support vulnerable children

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The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for more government funding, with the council’s spending on childcare rising by £2billion in five years.

According to LGA analysis released on May 20, English authorities spent more than £10.5 billion on child welfare in 2020/21, up from £8.5 billion in 2016/17.

This is due to a 78% increase from 2011 to 2021 in children suspected of suffering or at risk. The number of children in care has also increased by just under a quarter over the same period.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People’s Council, said: ‘Spinning costs and rising demand mean that funding is broadly supporting those most urgently in need of help.

“We continue to call on the government to invest additional funds in the strong family support services that can keep families from reaching the point of crisis.”

LGA research follows release of government commissioned report Independent Child Welfare Reviewled by Chairman Josh McAlister, who called for “a radical reset of the whole system”.

The review said the number of children in care would increase by 20,000 by 2032 and its cost would rise by £5billion unless there was reform of the ‘flawed’ system.

The LGA responded by urging the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care to commission a white paper by fall 2022.

Bramble added: “The Independent Child Welfare Review is a unique chance to reform our systems to ensure that all children and their families receive the right support at the right time, to enable them to thrive. “

Along with the LGA, the National Children’s Bureau, the NSPCC, Action for Children, Barnardo’s and the Children’s Society have asked the government for an action plan in response to the assessment.

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