Local authorities spending more on children in need.

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
looked-after children.

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
was £145.

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.

– See website

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