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Are Vulnerable Children “Falling Through the Cracks in Social Services”?
The charity Action for Children claims that 140,000 children in England are “falling through the cracks in social services”.
Image source: Pixabay
The children that fall in to this category are those who would benefit from the support of social services, however, do not meet the criteria for the statutory guidance that would usually be provided. Furthermore, the report states that children are not receiving adequate guidance unless they have reached ‘crisis point’.
Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Action for Children, states “social care can’t just be there for when a family is in meltdown”. By law, councils are obligated to provide their services to any child considered to be at risk of harm. However, the report believes that this simply isn’t happening.
According to Richard Watts, chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, the reason behind this is simple. He explains that social services across England are being pushed too hard and the pressure being placed on them is ever increasing.
This now leaves us with two important questions: What action is being taken in order to address the issue? And, is enough being done to make a difference to those 140,000 children? A spokeswoman for the Department of Education, has spoken of the £200m innovation programme that has been set up in order to provide councils with support in developing better ways of delivering their services. Not only this, but projects have been set up in an attempt to target children who have been referred and assessed numerous times without receiving any support. This suggests that yes, action is being taken to address the issue however, it remains to be seen whether or not £200m is sufficient enough to improve the quality of life of those 140,000 children.
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