Wednesday, 1 May 2019

The same old story – but it needs telling and telling again

The House of Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has just published a report which confirms all we know about what is happening to children’s services funding in England. Its conclusion is that they are at breaking point with an additional £3 billion required to plug the gap in funding to 2025.

The report reminds us that there has been an unremitting increase in demand for children's social services in the last ten years, with the number of children in care rising from under 60,000 in 2008 to more than 75,000 in 2018; and that during that period funding has woefully failed to keep up. 

It also draws attention to high rates of staff turnover and points out that children suffer because of changes in social worker and high dependence on temporary agency staff. It concludes that the system is simply not working. 

You can download a copy of the report at:

or alternatively there is a good summary of it in the Times Educational Supplement.

I wonder what part of “There is a funding crisis in children’s services” the government doesn’t understand. For some time now, ministers have heard the same message from virtually every source, but they seem incapable of acknowledging the extent of the problem. Unless they act decisively to put matters right they will have crossed the line from incompetence to wilful neglect of children’s services and of the children they should serve.