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Protecting Children’s Services

Liverpool City Council calls for action to preserve vital social care funding for young people

CHILDREN’S care chiefs with Liverpool City Council have joined a national call to action to halt an impending crisis in funding for children’s services after it was revealed that the city is one of the 20 worst-hit areas in the country for budget cuts.

Five of the UK’s leading children’s charities have joined forces to highlight the country’s worst ‘kids cuts hotspots’ – where local councils have faced the biggest real-terms drop in funding.

The report reveals that Liverpool has faced a 41 per cent reduction in funding for children’s services since 2010/11.

With warnings that local authorities are facing a £3 billion funding gap for children’s services by 2025, chief executive of Action for Children Julie Bentley has warned that children’s services are now at ‘breaking point’

Liverpool has lost £441m in funding from central government since 2010/11, which equates to £816 less for every man, woman and child in the city.

Despite this, the city council has pledged to protect vital services for children, including keeping all of Liverpool’s 17 children’s centres open. The council has also announced that it will recruit 160 new members of children’s social care staff in a bid to reduce caseloads by half.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member, Cllr Barry Kushner, said: “The reduction in funding to our children’s services has been 41 per cent, so we are trying to protect and prioritise our children, in very difficult circumstances.”

“In the last nine years we’ve seen increasing demand from families in crisis coupled a reduction in resources for the council; who families are looking to, for help in their time of need. Councils need appropriate funding to support children and families in crisis because that is what people deserve”

The report has been put together by Action for Children, the National Children’s Bureau, Barnado’s, The Children’s Society and the NSPCC. It concludes that overall, the amount of money available for children’s services has fallen by a third per child since 2010.

Steve Reddy, Director of Children’s services for Liverpool explains why despite the challenging environment, Liverpool is still making children a priority for our city.

“In line with the Mayor’s Inclusive Growth Plan priorities, we recognise the future prosperity of the city is dependent on investing in our children and young people. Despite the significant cuts to local government budgets, Liverpool is investing in social care services to ensure staff have manageable workloads, and they are able to achieve better outcomes for children and families.”

  • You can find out more about the charity report here