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Spending under section 17 of the 1989 Children Act rose 20% under the coalition government

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A recent investigation by Community Care found council spending on basic amenities for children in need rose 20% under the coalition government.

Councils can provide essential items to children in need and their families under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, which places a duty on children’s services to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area. Under section 17(6) of the act, social workers can make payments to families in ‘kind’ or cash.

Section 17 has historically been a ‘last resort’ budget but our research suggests more families are having to regularly turn to local authorities for assistance.

Take our survey on how you use section 17 support, what you use it for and why you have to support families on the edge of crisis.

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