FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS HAVE CAUSED THE CLOSURE OF MANY CHILDREN AND YOUTH CENTRES
- 15 Aug
Financial pressures have led to the closure of many children and youth centres since 2012, Nursing Times reports.
Local Government Association (LGA) made the following findings:
- In order to protect children at risk of immediate harm, 3/4 of councils overspent on their budgets by £605m in 2015
- There have also been cuts to the early intervention grant amounting to almost £500m since 2013, thereby restricting prevention work
- The number of children on child protection plans increased by 24,000 from 72,000 in 2005-2006 to 172,000 children in 2015-2016
- There is an estimated £2bn funding gap in children's social care services by 2020
- Due to financial constraints, 365 children's centres and 603 youth centres have been closed since 2012
Chair of the LGA's children and young people board, Richard Watts, said:
"The reality is that services for the care and protection of vulnerable children are now, in many areas, being pushed to breaking point. Government must commit to the life chances of children and young people by acting urgently to address the growing funding gap."
The children's services spokesman of County Councils Network also said:
"We remain confident that the government's review of the way councils are funded could finally iron out these discrepancies and give us a funding deal that will allow us to maintain these badly-needed services at the same quality as we are delivering now."
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