Children’s needs not prioritised, service leaders warn

By Ellie Ames | 21 February 2024

Children’s services directors have raised concerns that Government policy does not prioritise children.

According to a paper from the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), the number of children living in destitution has risen threefold to 4.2 million since 2017.

The ADCS said the national system for children with special needs was ‘profoundly broken’.

Directors also raised concerns about difficulties navigating the ‘diffuse accountability arrangements’ across the multiple Whitehall departments and agencies with responsibility for child and family policy.

ADCS president John Pearce said: “It is clear that children’s needs, rights and outcomes have not been prioritised in recent years. 

'A step change is needed in how Government prioritises and invests in children, young people, their families and in public services.'

The chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people’s board, Louise Gittins, described services for children and families as ‘fragmented,’ and called for councils to have the powers and resources to deliver joined-up support.

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