In England, section 47 of the 1989 Children Act requires local authorities to carry out ‘enquiries’ (investigations) where they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.
This week, the Local Government Association (LGA) reports that in 2017 500 such enquiries were carried out every day.
The Association’s press release also reminds us that in 2007 the corresponding figure was just 200 investigations per day.
So, the workload of local authorities in England has more than doubled in the last ten years.
Very rightly, the LGA is calling for the Government to use the upcoming Local Government Finance Settlement to resolve the £2billion funding gap that is facing children’s services in England.
Bizarrely ministers seem relatively unperturbed by what by what can only be described as a profound crisis.
“Fiddling while Rome burns” is a phrase that comes to mind.