Where will this end?
“Welfare reforms, reductions in family support services such as Sure Start, and rising poverty levels are fuelling record numbers of children being taken into care, local authority leaders have said.
The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) said austerity policies and an increasingly fragmented approach to public services were taking a toll on communities and punishing the most economically fragile households.
“The unintended consequence of the government’s austerity programme has been to drive up demand for [child protection] services as more and more families find themselves at the point of crisis with little or no early help available,” it said in a report.
The ADCS president, Alison Michalska, said long delays for universal credit payments, alongside welfare policies such as the two-child limit and housing benefit cuts, were causing difficulties for poorer families struggling to pay for food and rent.
The latest official statistics show 72,000 children were in care in England at the end of March, up 3% on the previous year, and the ninth successive year that this number has increased.
Between 2010 and 2016, the number of children assessed by social workers as as being in need rose by 5%, the number of children subject to a child protection plan increased by 29%, and numbers in care were up 10%. …”