The social care system is facing an “unprecedented” level of demand, putting pressure on budgets and quality of care, a major report has revealed.
The research, published by the Local Government Association (LGA), shows that demand pressures have “forced councils to overspend” on children’s social care budgets by more than £3 billion in the past five years.
According to the latest figures, there are now more than 52,000 children subject to child protection plans in the UK. This represents an increase of around 53 per cent since 2010.
Additionally, the number of children in care has increased by 28 per cent to 78,150 over the past decade.
Despite the Government pledging to invest more money into the social care system this year, the LGA is calling for a review to understand “what is driving demand for support” and “how councils can provide vital care for our most vulnerable but also invest in early help and prevention services”.
Commenting on the report, Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “These figures show the unprecedented demand pressures facing children’s services and the care system.
“A long-term sustainable funding solution would enable councils to protect children at immediate risk of harm while also supporting early help to prevent problems escalating in the first place.”
The report comes after Government figures revealed that children who needed help and protection from a social worker in the last 12 months were three times more likely to be persistently absent from school and two to four times more likely to be permanently excluded.
Considering the report, the Government has now launched a new consultation aiming to highlight the role of Designated Safeguarding Leads in schools.
For family law help and advice, get in touch with our expert team today.