Charities call for share of budget cash to be ring-fenced for children

Children’s charities have called on the
government to ensure a significant proportion of the new money
promised in April’s budget is spent on children’s services.

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

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,” said NCH public policy director
Caroline Abraham. “If this doesn’t happen it will be a huge missed
opportunity that would throw into serious doubt the government’s
ability to achieve its goal of ending child poverty by

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”.

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
councils responsibility from their 6 per cent extra real-term
resources for the costs of beds needlessly blocked in

NCB chief executive Paul Ennals said there were “serious concerns”
about focusing the vast majority of resources on what is seen as a
political priority, adding that politicians were mistaken if they
thought the electorate were only concerned about services for older

NSPCC added that its parliamentary supporters had been lobbying the
government for more details on how the funding should be spent, and
would “push for some of the increased funds to social services to
be earmarked for children’s services”.

Hutchinson, former chairperson of the ADSS children and families
committee, said: “Bearing in mind that the ADSS budget survey said
that 80 per cent of social services departments were predicting
overspends of 2 per cent or more, and of those 72 per cent were
overspending because of children’s services, it is absolutely
necessary that some of the 6 per cent goes to children’s services.
But there is no mention of that. There is only mention of

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.