England: charities reveal negative impact of funding cuts and higher demand

22 July 2020

Analysis by the UK’s largest children’s charities have revealed the double impact of a ‘toxic cocktail of cuts’, and a ‘soaring demand for help’ due to Covid-19.

The Children’s Society, Barnardo’s, Action for Children, the NSPCC and the National Children’s Bureau said their report shows that local authority children’s services have been reduced to ‘crisis-driven firefighting’ as a result of years of underinvestment.

This has left them ill-prepared to cope with all the extra challenges presented by Covid-19, the report warned.

The charities say the government must help local authorities by injecting funds to repair the children’s social care system. At present, they said, councils are having to spend a larger proportion of funding on children in crisis, rather than on early intervention.

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: ‘We have long warned about the “perfect storm” facing children’s social care, and the gap between demand and resource will widen further as a result of coronavirus.

‘Even before the lockdown, children were facing growing challenges from knife crime to cyber bullying […] But it is not simply about money – we need to spend resources wisely.’

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