Children's Services

This afternoon I was pleased to take part in a Westminster Hall debate on the provision of Children’s Services by local authorities. The Local Government Association has estimated there will be a £2 billion funding gap facing local authorities providing Children’s Services unless the Government acts.

This means that the majority of funding is rightfully targeted at those children in most need, including those taken into care. As we have seen in Leigh, this comes at the expense of other provisions such as early intervention and prevention as well as Sure Start. But the Government have failed to recognise that the issues are intrinsically intertwined, and unless we fund the prevention schemes which tackle the root problems we will always play catch-up at the detriment to the well-being of our young people. The current inadequate funding of early intervention has enormous repercussions on our community. We have seen homelessness rising, cases of domestic violence and the ongoing problem with drugs and alcohol on our streets. Therefore, we need to ensure that our education system, our social services and our local health provisions are working together to implement joint strategies that are properly funded to ensure that our Children’s Services are working for all young people, as well as families, within the community.

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