Children’s services in England are in financial crisis, say charities

England’s child protection and support services are in financial crisis, with the heaviest cuts burden falling disproportionately on the north of the country and in the most deprived areas, research by the UK’s “big five” children’s charities has found.

Councils overall suffered a 29% cut in government funding for children’s departments between 2010 and 2017-18 – equivalent to £3bn – despite spiralling demand for a range of services, from family crisis support to child protection, the research said.

Ongoing austerity cuts would put thousands more children at risk of being placed in care, the charities said, as pressure grew on vulnerable families from rising child poverty and mental illness to increased incidence of sexual or criminal exploitation.