Birmingham boosts children’s budget at expense of children’s homes

Birmingham Council is putting an extra £100m into frontline social work for children and young people at the expense of children’s homes and other support staff.

Last year, the council spent £1.4bn on its children’s services department, a figure that has been boosted to £1.5bn in this year’s budget.

The rise comes at a price, however, because the jobs of up to 1,300 residential care workers, care assistants, administrators and other staff in children’s homes  have been declared “at risk” of redundancy by the council.

Frontline social workers’ jobs will be protected.

Unison has responded angrily to the proposed cuts and the way the news of them was handled.

“It is outrageous that our members found out about this shocking news through the media,” said Unison general secretary Dave Prentis. “We will be seeking urgent meetings with the council, and are calling on them to put a stop to their plans.”

Unison claims 2,000 jobs will go across all services,

“This is a massive number of job cuts. The council cannot be serious.” Prentis added.

The council said many of the job losses were a result of plans to move more children from residential homes to foster care. Although the council refused to comment on whether Birmingham had enough foster carers to handle this transition, a spokesperson said it had a recruitment campaign in place.

The council has also invested more in adults’ and communities’ services than last year – increasing the budget by £14m to £380m.

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