Today’s report offers chilling clarity on the under-resourcing of children’s social care at a time of rising levels of need, and their impact on children. As Children England has warned, massive ongoing cuts to local authority budgets have driven councils to crisis point, closing some services and raising thresholds for others in a valiant struggle to continue providing support for the children and families who need help the most. With their central government grants due to cease by 2020 and no support offered by Ministers on how to address this funding crisis, local authorities face the prospect of holding all of the parental responsibility for children in their care and increasingly inadequate resources to look after them. This breaks the social contract between England’s taxpayers and society’s youngest, most vulnerable citizens.

Kathy Evans, CEO of Children England, said:

“Today’s report is important because it shows that the severity of the crisis facing children’s services in local areas has reached the attention of Parliamentarians. The report itself is well-evidenced and in fact rather measured in its detailing of the combined financial and demand pressures that are being felt by councils, practitioners and the children and families entitled to essential care and support services. It deserves to be given serious attention by decision-makers not only in DfE, but also in CLG and the Treasury – and, in our view, action is needed urgently.”

There is a clear link between poverty and families finding themselves unable to provide for their children’s welfare – with the result that many more children are being taken into care in deprived areas than in wealthier ones. This is not an inevitable pattern, and not one we should accept as a given. Every child needs warmth, food, a safe and stable home and good health as the most basic conditions for their healthy development, and every parent wants to be able to provide a decent standard of life for their family if they possibly can. Increasing child poverty, the housing crisis, spiralling foodbank use and yet more benefit reductions are a direct threat to children’s health and wellbeing. More fundamental even than the funding of the early intervention called for by the APPG is investment in communities that support families’ welfare – communities with good jobs, affordable homes and accessible universal health services.