No extra funding to meet impact of Southwark Judgement

Councils will not receive any additional government money to help cope with the recently imposed Southwark Judgement, according to Dawn Primarolo, minister of state for children, young people and families.

In a recent meeting with Shireen Ritchie, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People’s Board, Primarolo said rather than presenting a new burden, the judgement clarified duties already placed on local government.

The Law Lords judgement, in May last year, ruled that councils should ensure all 16-18 year olds, who find themselves homeless, have a full assessment of their needs and support for employment, health, education and finance as well as accommodation.

As a result, council budgets are taking a hit. Torbay’s children’s services department, for instance, has requested an additional £450,000 from the council to help meet the obligation.

According to research from the LGA, the Southwark Judgement will result in an extra 12,400 young people needing further support throughout England at a cost of £74m. On top of this, the study estimated the additional cost of providing leaving care services for this group at £17m.

The LGA’s Children and Young People’s Board is scheduled to discuss how to take the issue forward at its next meeting.

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