Spending by local authority social services departments on
children in need increased by 23 per cent in 16 months, according
to a survey by the Department of Health.
Results show that 384,200 children were identified as “in need”
in the survey week during February 2003, just under 70,000 of them
This represented a 2 per cent increase since September 2001, but
the cost increased from £49.9m to £61.1m.
The number of looked-after children fell by 0.5 per cent, but
there was a 3 per cent rise in other children receiving a service,
the survey reveals.
Among children who received a service, the average looked-after
child cost social services £600 a week, while the average
spent on services for children in need who were not looked after
Children in need who are not looked after by social services
receive on average 2.4 hours’ social work time, either in
teams or centres.