Children’s social services ‘most pressing’ financial concern

Funding children’s social services is the most pressing concern for finance heads, local government experts have revealed.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and service delivery specialists Peopletoo say in its report Changing Children’s Lives children’s social services has edged ahead of adult social care as the main priority in upper-tier councils.

But they say there needs to be more focus on effective use of public money when demand is outstripping budgets and there has been no improvement in children’s services in a decade.

The report calls for leadership and performance management at the corporate level as well as improving the skills of service managers and frontline staff.

Sean Nolan, CIPFA director of local government, said the current funding regime was geared daily towards addressing adult social pressures, but he warned: “The reality is that funding for children’s services is reducing as demand is rising. This is not sustainable.

“As a result it is not surprising that this area has now edged ahead as the number one concern for CFOs in upper-tier councils.”

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