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LGA calls for more funding to cover expected increase in Children’s Services referrals

The Local Government Association has called on the government to provide extra cash to fund anticipated Children’s Services demand increase over the coming weeks

With official figures showing that referrals to children’s social care services fell by 18% from April to June, there is an expectation that pent up demand will now start becoming evident with school staff playing a major role in spotting needs as children return to school.

Whilst, the LGA says, councils have been working hard to identify children at risk the spike in demand is likely to come at a time when cash is short with many councils being forced to cut their spend on children’s services. It has therefore called on the government to prioritise these services in its forthcoming spending review

Judith Blake, chair of the LGA’s children and young people board, said: “The impacts of the pandemic will be far reaching for some children, young people and their families. As this becomes clearer, more children and their families are likely to need support and councils expect to see a significant rise in referrals to children’s social care and demand for wider children’s support services.

“It is vital that councils have the funding they need to support children, young people and families during the current phase of the crisis and beyond. Investment in crucial preventative services would mean help can be available when it is first needed and not when families and young people reach crisis point.”