The list of local authorities which will receive money from the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme is a stark reminder that the Government is proposing to spend £11 million on experimenting with new ideas, many of which may prove fruitless, rather than spending the money where it will do the most good. You can read more about the allocation of this grant in Children and Young People Now.
At the same time, it is reported in Community Care that struggling Birmingham Council – the biggest local authority in Europe - is having to make sizeable cuts to its children’s services budget. That will not do anything to help it improve its services which have been repeatedly judged ‘inadequate’ by Oftsed.
The Government seems preoccupied with the innovation programme to the detriment of setting proper priorities to ensure that every child in need of protection receives a good or outstanding service. The Government should direct every penny to meeting children’s needs, not to pet projects.