Councils struggling to cope with growth in child protection cases

Posted On: 
17th February 2018

Councils are struggling to keep children living in violent homes safe due to cuts, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

More children are at risk of domestic violence due to austerity, the LGA found.

Councils began more than 500 child protection investigations last year - a major surge on the 200 per day they were looking into a decade ago, according to LGA data.

Local authorities have struggled to deal with an increase in child referrals and are increasingly only able to act when the case is deemed “critical”.

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Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board, warned that children’s services would face a funding gap of £2bn by 2020.

He called on the Government to include early intervention and preventative measures to help councils properly address domestic abuse.

“It’s awful to imagine the pain and hurt that perpetrators [of domestic violence] inflict on victims and to think of children witnessing or even being victims of abuse,” said Mr Blackburn.

“We need the government to include early intervention and preventive measures in its reforms to address domestic abuse as the best way to tackle this issue ... Failure to invest in these services will have long-term consequences for our country’s children and families and create crises which are much more expensive to solve in the long run.”

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics found there were 1.9million victims of domestic violence living in the UK last year.