NI Children ‘Being Short Changed’

Children are being short changed on social service spending, according to research for the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People. It found the expenditure per child in NI on personal social services was £287, compared with £513 in Scotland, £429 in Wales and £402 in England.

The report examined spending on children across social care, health, education, housing and benefits. Commissioner Patricia Lewsley said the findings were “extremely worrying”.

“It is clear that we need to look at why children are losing out in personal social services at a time when we hear that the services in mental health and speech and language therapy are not meeting children’s needs,” she said.

“My office has expressed concern for some time that there is a gap in spending on children’s services. We’re grateful that the office of first minister and deputy first minister and the department of finance and personnel supported this landmark report – the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.”