The article below draws out concerns that have existed for some time in local government about the Government's focus on adult social care ( albeit much needed) and how it is crowding out the impact of the pressures on children's budgets.
I have spoken to many Treasurers in local government who point out that for their council its actually children's services where the pressures are and that in some cases because of the constraints of the precept and the continued reduction in grant - they find themselves in the bizarre position of thinking about what they could spend the precept money on, whilst knowing they would see far greater benefit spending it on children’s services....
We will see more of this as Brexit consumes all and the response to problems becomes increasingly knee jerk and short term. Where is the longer term thinking to create sustainable solutions ? Where is the devolution to local places to let them decide how best to spend the money? Micro-management from Whitehall is a model that is outdated and will not work as it only provides 20th century solutions to 21st century challenges
It took an unconscionable amount of time for ministers to wake up to the importance of social care. Having done so at last, they now insist on looking only at the bit that offers support for older people. Equally critical issues are creeping up on them, stage left. As Barbara Gelb, chief executive of the charity Together for Short Lives, has argued, children’s services risk marginalisation, and worse. Services for young adults are getting short shrift too and may be in most trouble.