'Vulnerable children have to reach crisis to get help'

From BBC - November 14, 2017

Children facing abuse and neglect in England increasingly get help from local councils only when their problems reach a crisis, say leading charities.

Services which intervene early to help families in difficulties are bearing the brunt of cuts, says their report.

Relying on crisis intervention incurs a "devastating cost" both socially and financially, they add.

The government says that providing help as early as possible is the best way to keep children safe.

But the analysis by the Children's Society, Action for Children and the National Children's Bureau finds that councils are slashing preventative services "under the pressure of 2.4bn of central government funding cuts".

Specifically, it says, central government funding for early intervention has fallen by 1.7bn since 2010.

The report, Turning the Tide, finds:

Over the same period, the number of child protection investigations has more than doubled, with spending on crisis support up 7%, at 6.1bn, says the report.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children's Society, called the cuts "nothing short of devastating".

"Services that could intervene early to stop problems escalating have been the hardest hit.

"All too often central government shrugs off responsibility for council spending decisions but the figures are stark and undeniable.



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