An extra £100 million will be handed to councils next year
to boost child protection work, the government announced,
writes Sally Gillen.
The surprise announcement, which was made alongside the
financial settlement for councils next year, comes despite comments
by children’s minister Margaret Hodge that no new money would
be needed to implement the children’s green paper.
Local authorities will use the cash to respond to the
recommendations in Lord Laming’s inquiry report into the
death of Victoria Climbie and establish the local safeguarding
children’s boards outlined in the green paper.
The financial settlement reveals that key services will be
funded by £158 million of ringfenced cash, including
fostering, which will go up from £20 million to £33
million and child and adolescent mental health services, which rise
from £50 million to £66 million.
Sixteen councils given three-star ratings recently will receive
their grants free from ring-fencing.
In older people’s services an anticipated £100
million will be allocated to tackle delayed discharges..
The Local Government Association has raised concerns about the
settlement for some councils’ social services departments. It
estimates that 13 local authorities, including zero-rated Bromley,
will be forced to pass on unringfenced money to education.