£743m funding drop in Children’s early help services over five years

By agency reporter
September 28, 2018

New figures on government spending on children’s services show:

  • Budgets for ‘early intervention’ children’s services, which can help stop family problems such as abuse and neglect spiralling out of control, have dropped by £743 million in the last five years: a decrease of 26 per cent
  • Budgets for children’s centres across England have dropped by £450 million in the last five years: a decrease of 42 per cent
  • Budgets for safeguarding and children in care across England have increased by £597 million in the last five years: an increase of 10 per cent

Director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, Imran Hussain, said: “Crippling cuts in government funding are putting councils in an impossible position, leaving them with no option but to cut budgets for vital early help services that protect vulnerable children.

“We know from our own work that without the safety net of well-funded early help services like children’s centres, thousands of children at risk of abuse, neglect or domestic violence are being left to fend for themselves until problems spiral out of control. This failure to act with the right help, at the right time, will inevitably have devastating consequences for some children that last a lifetime.

“As these figures clearly show, it also makes no financial sense to cut early help as councils are then forced to spend vast amounts on expensive crisis interventions, ‘firefighting’ problems after they have escalated. The Government needs to allocate additional, dedicated funding for children’s services at next year’s Spending Review. Without urgent action, we risk failing thousands more children across the country.”

* Action for Children https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/

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