Local authorities are cutting spending on children and families social care by 1.8%, according to figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The net current expenditure for 2010-11 across all local authorities was £6.4bn, whereas the net current expenditure for 2011-12 is £6.3bn.
Parts of the sector have responded with concern.
“We’re disappointed to hear that local authorities are dropping their expenditure in children’s social care by more than £100m, especially as this area was supposed to be protected,” Bob Reitemeier, chief executive of The Children’s Society, told Community Care.
“These cuts hit the most vulnerable children and families the hardest. Many children and families are already starting to face difficulties as a result of national cuts to help with their housing, child care and other support – cuts in local expenditure on crucial support services will just make this picture all the more bleak.”
Matt Dunkley, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, disagreed, saying the cut was inevitable but would not hurt those in most need.
“There is evidence that children’s social care services have benefited from careful consideration and important services around the safeguarding of children have been maintained,” he told Community Care.
“A 2% cut at a time when local government generally has faced cuts of nearly 30% is not inconsistent with maintaining front-line services whilst making a responsible contribution to local authority savings targets.”
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