4 Oct 2010

The Children's Society today implores the coalition government to take seriously the needs of society’s most vulnerable when they announce the comprehensive spending review. Cuts in services are expected to hit the poorest and most vulnerable children and families hardest.

We are deeply concerned that government and local authorities will cut preventative and early intervention services, whilst retaining only so-called 'critical' services. Our experience working with young people demonstrates that early intervention is hugely beneficial to children, young people and whole communities. We would argue that preventative services are indeed critical. Preventing young people entering the criminal justice system, being taken into care, or being excluded from education is not only beneficial to the children themselves, but in the long-term reduces government spending on intensive services that are expensive to maintain.

We anticipate that some of The Children's Society’s crucial early intervention services will be cut despite their role in providing cost-effective and preventative support to the most marginalised families.

The Big Society means empowering people to take control of their lives, rather than waiting for the state to intervene at the point of crisis. However, in considering the financial costs of children’s services, Government has a duty to deliver preventative, early intervention for children and families that is, in the long-term, a more cost effective and sustainable solution than crisis intervention alone.

Like many voluntary sector organisations, The Children's Society will face significant financial challenges over the coming months as the scale of government cuts is announced. However, we are on a strong financial footing and we will continue to strive to create a better childhood for every child. Together with others in the voluntary sector, we aim to ensure the government shares this ambition.

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For more information, please contact Rafi Cooper at The Children's Society's media office. Email: Rafi.cooper@childsoc.org.uk, tel: 020 7841 4422.

Editor’s note:

The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children can be children, childhood is respected and every child is valued for who they are. Our approach is driven by our Christian values and by the voices of children and young people, who are at the heart of all we do. In 2009 The Children’s Society published The Good Childhood Inquiry, the UK's first independent national inquiry into childhood. Its aims were to renew society's understanding of modern childhood and to inform, improve and inspire all our relationships with children. The Children's Society is continuing to improve this understanding of issues affecting children through all of its ongoing work.