Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Over 180 children placed on child protection plans daily
New figures analysed by the Local Government Association has found that more than 180 children are placed on child protection plans every day to keep them safe from harm.
Roughly the equivalent of six primary school classrooms’ worth of children, the average 182 plans started each day amounts to a total of 66,410 child protection plans started by councils in England during 2016/17.
Compared with the 33,300 plans started in 2006/7, the LGA is warning that the rise highlights the large demand that is being placed on councils at a time when resources are being reduced, and clearly showcases the growing number of children and families needing support from children’s services.
With children’s services facing a funding gap of nearly £2 billion by 2020, councils start child protection plans, which differ from taking a child into care, to support families and keep children safe when it is thought they are at risk of significant harm.
Roy Perry, vice chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “It is absolutely vital that councils are able to support families and help children who are at risk of significant harm. But as these figures show, the pressures on councils are mounting as a result of a huge increase in demand, with the number of children being placed on child protection plans the equivalent of six classrooms’ worth of pupils every day.
“Last week’s care crisis review highlighted the significant pressure on the care system, with the number of applications to take children into care more than doubling over a decade. But these new figures demonstrate that the pressure on children’s services goes much deeper, with high risk cases being managed outside of the care system also increasing at an alarming rate.
“This is no longer sustainable, with many areas struggling to cope. Children’s services are being pushed to the brink, and face a funding gap of almost £2 billion by 2020 just to maintain current service levels. We really need the government to commit to fully funding these services so that councils can manage the rising demand for help, while also providing the additional resources they need to support families before problems escalate to the point where a child might need to come into care.”