Costs of children’s services vary widely

A number of councils may be failing to achieve adequate value for money in their children’s services, unpublished research for the Department of Education and Skills is set to show.

Anne Jackson, director of the department’s children, young people and families strategy group, told a Community Care conference in London today that reports by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers would show “wide variations” between the costs of certain services across different councils.

She said: “Sometimes there is a good reason but sometimes it is more difficult to see that equal value for money is being got for the different spends.”

The reports, which are set to be published at the end of the summer, look at the impact of commissioning on the development of the children’s services market.

They will cover areas including childcare, parenting support services, looked-after children and positive activities for young people.



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