Action for Children statement in response to tomorrow's LGA story - Councils stretched as number of child protection inquiries more than doubles

Posted by / Tuesday 12 December 2017 / Press release
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In reaction to today's story from the Local Government Association, Eleanor Briggs, head of policy and research at Action for Children, which provides children's services on behalf of local councils, said:

"Reductions in funding from central government have forced local councils to shrink or abandon children's services designed to step in early and help families before problems escalate. It's no surprise therefore that more and more children, young people and families are being referred to social services; even then many of them are not getting the help they need.

"Our Freedom of Information research earlier this year found that up to 140,000 of the most vulnerable children in England – those referred to social services by teachers, police or health professionals for concerns including abuse and neglect - are not getting help because their needs fall short of the criteria for support.

"After they are assessed and then closed to social care, the needs of this group of vulnerable children would historically have been met by early help services such as children's centres or domestic violence programmes – but as these services have been reduced or closed, many now no longer receive any support.

"The status quo simply cannot continue – the Government must address the funding gap for children’s services if we’re going to help families before they reach crisis point."