12 Oct 2017

Sam Royston, Director of Policy at The Children’s Society, said: “These shocking figures show what happens when children and families do not get the early support they need to prevent problems reaching crisis point.

“While children’s homes and foster placements offer vital support, we would much rather families received timely help to avoid the need for their children to be taken into care.

“That is increasingly difficult for councils facing a £2bn shortfall in children’s services funding by 2020, which has led to cuts to services like Sure Start and youth groups.  By then, early intervention funding will have fallen by 71 per cent in real terms since 2010/11.

“At the same time, families are increasingly in need of help, and our latest Good Childhood Report shows how issues experienced by parents like debt, mental health and substance misuse are taking their toll on children’s happiness.

“The funding gap facing councils also makes it harder for them to provide the best possible support for vulnerable children in their care.

Risks facing children in care

“These young people are at particular risk of going missing from home, with all the risks that brings, and nearly half of children in care experience mental ill health.

“It is vital that councils work with other agencies including police, health services and the voluntary sector to prioritise issues like these and ensure children in care get the support they need.  However, this must be backed up by a Government pledge of new investment in children’s services in the forthcoming Autumn Budget.

“Without these commitments we will continue to see councils struggling to provide vital support which could help prevent some of these children being taken into care – as well as ensuring those they are caring for get the support they deserve.”

Media enquiries

For more information, please contact Senior Media Officer Rob Devey on 07814 525918 or rob.devey@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.