Councils disheartened by lack of funds for Children Act

The children’s minister has dashed councils’ long-held
hopes for significant funding to implement the Children Act,
writes Sally Gillen.

New Asset  
Hodge dashes hopes

Margaret Hodge told local authority figures at a conference this
week organised by the Local Government Association in London that
money would be available to meet some transitional costs.

But she added: “A lot of this is about changing the way we
work and there are huge opportunities for using our money
“I really do not think funding is a barrier to these
reforms,” she added.

Her comments will come as a blow to many in the sector who remain
unconvinced that current resources will cover the cost of the most
radical overhaul of children’s services for 30 years.

They will add to fears that history could repeat itself and the act
could meet the same fate as the Children Act 1989, widely regarded
as a sound piece of legislation that did not fulfill its potential
could because of lack of financial backing.

In guidance on how to implement the act last week, the Department
for Education and Skill has allocated £22.5 million in 2006/07
and £63 million 2007/08 for councils to put in place changes.

Every Child Matters: Change for Children

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