Children`s charities want cash ring-fenced

Children’s charities have called on the government to
ensure a significant proportion of the new money promised in last
month’s budget is spent on children’s services,
writes Lauren Revans.

The National Children’s Bureau, the NSPCC and NCH –
backed by the Association of Directors of Social Services –
have called for reassurances that the annual 6 per cent real terms
growth in resources for social services in England over the next
three years will not be swallowed up by adult services, and
particularly by delayed discharge.

Caroline Abraham, NCH public policy director, said: “We welcome
the increased government funding for health and social services,
and believe it is vital that a substantial proportion of it is
ring-fenced for children.

“If this doesn’t happen it will be a huge, missed
opportunity, and that would throw into serious doubt the
government’s ability to achieve its historic goal of ending
child poverty by 2019.”

In response to a parliamentary question by Conservative
backbencher Gillian Shephard last month about the proportion of the
new funds to be devoted to child protection, health minister Jacqui
Smith said: “detailed decisions on the allocation of resources will
follow in the autumn”.

The only clue so far as to what the government expects the new
funds to be spent on, came from health secretary Alan Milburn the
day after the budget was announced. He promised to legislate “to
give local councils responsibility from their 6 per cent extra real
term resources for the costs of beds needlessly blocked in

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