Search

Council leaders warn children’s social care is at breaking point

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 August 2017

The number of children subject to children protection enquiries is rising in the borough. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

The number of children subject to children protection enquiries is rising in the borough. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Children’s social care is being pushed to breaking point, with growing demand for support leading councils to overspend on their budgets.

Havering Council's cabinet member for children and young people, Cllr Robert Benham. Picture: Havering Council Havering Council's cabinet member for children and young people, Cllr Robert Benham. Picture: Havering Council

Analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA) – which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales – reveals that in 2015/16 councils surpassed their children’s social care budgets by £605 million in order to protect children at immediate risk of harm.

Havering Council exceed its predicted budget of £30.13million by £3.16m.

Across the country, 170,000 children were subject to child protection enquiries in 2015/16, compared to 71,800 in 2005/06 – an increas of 140pc in just 10 years.

In Havering 1,276 child protection enquiries were made in 2015/16 compared to just 61 in 2011/12.

And the number of children on child protection plans increased to 394 from 37 for the same period.

The LGA is warning that the pressures facing children’s services are rapidly becoming unsustainable, with a £2billion funding gap expected by 2020.

According to the organisation ongoing cuts to local authority budgets are leading to many councils being forced to make difficult decisions about how to allocate increasingly scarce resources.

A Havering Council spokesman said: “This increased demand puts pressure on the council’s budget which has reduced as the government’s grant to the borough reduces.

“The local authority is working hard and innovatively to ensure we have a stable workforce to respond to the challenge.”

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, added: “The fact that the majority of councils are recording high levels of children’s services overspend shows the sheer scale of the funding crisis we face in children’s social care, both now and in the near future.”

Cllr Watts added that early intervention was key.

The council’s cabinet member for children and learning, Cllr Robert Benham added: “Our response is to reach families sooner, working with them to reduce the likelihood of their children coming into our care.

“We have successfully bid to bring in resources via a number of innovative programmes, some of which are funded by national government.

“This has generated over £2.5m of new innovation funding into the borough in the last year alone.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

Around 30pc of women in Havering aged 25-49 are not getting smear tests when invited, according to worrying figures from the borough’s healthcare experts.

The National Trust is urging any past or present Havering residents to share their memories of Rainham Hall during the 60s.

Yesterday, 15:00

Havering had the highest number of cases in London of a chronic lung disease which has been associated with air pollution in the last year, new figures reveal.

Yesterday, 12:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Yesterday, 10:00

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Yesterday, 08:00

The London Borough of Havering have for decades paid more for our services than inner London areas who have received much larger grants from central government, compared to outer London areas.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The creation of the National Health Service in 1948 was not universally welcomed, as Prof Ged Martin discovered

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now