Investment in early intervention support by councils in England halved from £3.8 billion to £1.9 billion between 2010/11 and 2020/21, according to a new report commissioned by a coalition of charities.
The Children’s Society, Action for Children, Barnardo’s, National Children’s Bureau and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children are calling on the candidates to be the next Prime Minister to commit to implementing the children’s social care review and to providing urgent new funding in the next Budget, so all children and families who need it get vital early support.
The research found decreasing funding for early support services, such as children’s centres and youth clubs, and for targeted support with issues like drug and alcohol misuse – which means families are missing out on getting help early to stop problems spiralling out of control.
The charities warn this has created “a vicious cycle”, where councils are forced to spend more on costly crisis support, leaving more children and young people exposed to risks such as exploitation, neglect and mental ill-health.
Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “The Government needs to move quickly to address the issues raised in the recent independent review of children’s social care, and invest additional funding in the strong family help services that can prevent families from reaching crisis point.”