The survey results show:
66% of respondents feel their council does not have sufficient funding to provide universal services for children and families, such as children’s centres or youth clubs;
40% said that a lack of resources prevented them from meeting their statutory duties to children;
35% said their local authority lacked the resources to support ‘children in need’;
30% are lacking the resources to support children with protection plans.
Lead members responsible for children’s services said the extra burden on local authorities had come about for a number of reasons:
50% said it was partly due to increased levels of poverty and hardship;
45% said cuts to other services for families, such as housing support, were a contributing factor;
24% said that rising levels of abuse and neglect was one of the reasons behind the increase in demand;
36% said it was in part due to professionals getting better at spotting the signs of a child in urgent need.
Anna Feuchtwang, NCB chief executive, said:
‘Central government must take action so that families can access the help they need when they need it. This starts with an immediate funding injection for children’s services, additional resources to tackle mental health problems, and better data sharing.’
Feuchtwang believes no single action can address the deeper causes of increasing demand, and instead called for a detailed government plan which addresses these and shows how it can create a society that works for all children and young people.