Children Services heads call for ringfencing early intervention funding

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) President Marion Davis has called for more focus on early intervention rather than earlier identification to reduce the number of children being referred to children’s services due to abuse or neglect.

The ADCS has released research that the number of looked after children has increased by 53.3 per cent in the past three years.  The Government’s own statistics released yesterday also show a growing number of children are being put on a child protection plan.

The ADCS President warned that if investment in early interventions is not adequate “”we risk creating a perfect storm – as demand rises and resources reduce”.

“We know the deficit must be reduced and that all public services must play their part in doing so. But we would be irresponsible to accept cuts now and have to return to central government with a begging bowl later, when we have the chance to reduce the costs for the longer term,” she said.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton did not agree that there was “a significant rise” in the number of children being put on protection plan.

He agreed that children’s social services are under pressure due to “the fall-out from the Baby Peter case and pressures will remain challenging.” 

The Minister also made it clear that bureaucracy must not hamper the work of the social workers and councils must learn from best practice examples regarding early intervention.