Labour Cabinet Member Zoe Nolan says Children’s social care is being pushed to breaking point, with an unprecedented surge in demand leaving services across the public, voluntary and community sector struggling to cope. MK Council is now supporting a letter to Chancellor over vulnerable children before this week’s budget.
The Local Government Association in partnership with national Children’s charities; Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society, and the National Children’s Bureau have come together to call for Councils to be given money in the Autumn Budget to fund children’s services properly.
Nationally the letter highlights a funding gap of £2 Billion by 2020. In Milton Keynes, next year’s budget needs an extra £2.408 million just to meet projected need.
The current year’s budget at the 30 September showed an overspend of £468,000 after using £1.353 million of one off money.
Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said, “The £0.468m forecast overspend (after using £1.353m of one off resources) is due to 232 in-house fostering placements compared to the budgeted 200 and 128 actual special guardianship orders compared to the budget of 105. These are a lower cost alternative to external foster placements or residential placements.“
According to the Association of Directors of Children’s Services:
“The impact of seven years of austerity on children and families cannot be underestimated. There are currently four million children living in poverty, two thirds of whom live in working households. Poverty damages life chances and puts enormous strain on family life.“
Labour is supporting the letter to the Chancellor because the current funding of Council Children’s services is too low because Government grant has been dramatically cut since 2010.
Cllr Zoe Nolan, concluded “I believe that all children deserve the chance of a bright future. That’s why I am supporting the call by the Local Government Association and respected national charities to urge the Government to use the Autumn Budget to close the funding gap facing children’s services. The Government must recognise the funding pressures it has caused and it must help us to meet local growing demand.“
The LGA/Charities letter can be found at: https://www.local.gov.uk/about/campaigns/bright-futures/close-childrens-services-funding-gap
The Association of Directors of Children’s Services quote can be found at: https://adcs.org.uk//funding/article/impact-of-austerity-on-childrens-services