- Councils running out of funding to provide statutory children's services
- MPs call for funding rise of £3.1bn for chidren's services
Other findings include:
Two-thirds agreed that central government funding cuts had made it harder for their council to fulfil statutory duties to children and young people like child protection and supporting children in care.
Around six-in-ten councillors said Police, health services and schools had been put under extra pressure by reduced spending on children’s services.
More than half thought spending on children’s centres would be reduced.
Mark Russell, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said, ‘These findings must act as a real wake-up call for the Government and show that ministers need not just take our word for it that these funding cuts are having a devastating impact upon vulnerable children.
‘Councillors of all political colours are struggling to ensure their councils can provide vital early help for children and families, meaning that problems they face are more likely to reach crisis point and require more expensive interventions which are financially unsustainable for many councils.
‘The Government must address this worrying situation as a matter of urgency, starting with the forthcoming spending announcement – the future of thousands of children may depend upon it.’
Director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, Imran Hussain, said, ‘It’s clear from the widespread fear among frontline Conservatives that the crippling cuts to town hall budgets have gone too far. Stripping back children’s services is not only leaving our most vulnerable children at risk but is also putting additional pressure on the NHS, local schools and the police.
‘Despite being told austerity is at an end, every day at Action for Children we continue to see first-hand the awful impact of children blighted by issues such as abuse and neglect struggling to get the support they need from ailing services which should be keeping them safe and well.
‘The only way to fix this country’s growing crisis in childhood - and take pressure off our over-stretched nurses, teachers and police officers - is for the Government to start investing in our children. It can do this by establishing a National Childhood Strategy so the Prime Minister can get a grip on these issues, backed with funding for urgently needed services to keep children safe from harm.’
The Government has been contacted for a response.