Protecting children from harm

We need to sort out a long-term plan to enable councils to protect children from harm while supporting early help to prevent problems escalating in the first place.

That’s why the LGA’s Liberal Democrat Group is helping table this issue for debate at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference this month (13-15 March), in York.

More than 52,000 children are subject to a child protection plan to keep them safe – an increase of 53 per cent

Recently, the LGA found that more than 52,000 children are subject to a child protection plan to keep them safe from harm – an increase of 53 per cent since 2010. The number of children in care (78,150) has increased by 28 per cent in the past decade.

You won’t need me to tell you that this sharp rise in need for urgent child protection services has coincided with reductions in central government funding for local authorities.

Unprecedented demand and cost pressures mean councils have had to overspend on children’s social care budgets each year, and by a total of £3.2 billion over the past five years.

More than eight in 10 councils were forced to spend above £800 million more than they planned to on children’s social care last year alone – despite increasing their budgets by more than half a billion pounds yet again.

Details of the Liberal Democrat Conference debate, which will be moved by Layla Moran MP and seconded by our Children’s Services Lead, Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, can be found at www.libdems.org.uk/spring-20-agenda. See www.local.gov.uk/lga-lib-dem-group for the wider LGA Liberal Democrat offer in York.

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