Estimating Children’s Services spending on vulnerable children
The Children’s Commissioner Office 2019
This report provides new estimates of how much is spent on children in specific categories of need and vulnerability across a sample of local authority children’s services departments.The Children’s Commissioner’s Office visited over a dozen LAs between November 2018 and February 2019 to gather evidence from Directors of Children’s Services, elected council members, heads of finance and programme managers on local pressures on children’s services budgets, specifically budgets for high needs and early intervention. The Children’s Commissioner Office then worked closely with nine local authorities to develop a methodology to allocate financial data and produce a set of estimates.The work does not provide a nationally representative picture of demand and spend intended to benefit children in England. The aim was to get a better understanding of the current cost pressures facing councils and then work with local authority children’s services to co-create a common framework and methodology for mapping the level of support and spend on children and to work with a small sample of LAs to use this framework to obtain comparable data.In the absence of a full national dataset on where money goes this study provides an important contribution to the debate on the efficiency, effectiveness and fairness of current funding.
NIHR School for
Social Care Research