The Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed that there are a record number of children now in the care system, with 90 children a day having entered care last year.
The total number of looked after children reached its highest point of 72,670 in 2016/17, and increase on the 70,440 children in care the year before. The LGA explained that this is the biggest annual rise of children in care in seven years.
The LGA said that Chancellor Philip Hammond must use his Autumn Statement in November to address the £2 billion funding gap facing children’s services by 2020. Without action, the group warns, the numbers of children coming into care will continue to rise and councils will find it even harder to support them and their families.
Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Children’s services are at a tipping point with growing demand for support combining with ongoing council funding pressures to become unsustainable. Last year saw the biggest rise in the number of children in care for seven years. With 90 children coming into care every day, our calls for urgent funding to support these children and invest in children and their families are becoming increasingly urgent.
“Children’s services face a £2 billion funding gap by 2020. If nothing is done to address this funding gap crucial services that many children and families across the country desperately rely on will be put at risk. We are calling on the government to use the Autumn Budget to commit to fully funding children’s services and invest in improving services to ensure vulnerable children get the appropriate support and protection they need.”
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