Big rise in social services spending on children in need

Expenditure 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 for Education and Skills.

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
£49.9 million to £61.1 million in February 2003.

The number of children looked after fell by 0.5 per cent, but
there was a 3 per cent increase in the number of other children
receiving a service.

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

Survey available here

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