Children's services

I do appreciate that there needs to be a longer term solution to ensure sustainable funding for children's social services.

I am pleased that in preparation for the upcoming Spending Review, the Government is collaborating with the sector to establish an intricate understanding of the costs and funding pressures facing local children's services, for example through launching ambitious data research projects and developing up-to-date funding formulas. This will help to ensure that the decisions made at the Spending Review on the allocation of funding to local authorities are taken on the basis of the most comprehensive evidence.

It is welcome news that in the meantime the 2018 Autumn Budget made an additional £410 million available to local authorities to ease cost pressures for both children and adult social care. Furthermore, I welcome that £84 million has been allocated over a period of five years to assist up to 20 local authorities to enhance their social care services, ensuring that they are able to engage more effectively with those who need support the most. This funding builds on the £200 billion that the Government has already made available to local authorities up to 2020 to provide services for their residents, including for children and young people.

I hope this has provided a measure of reassurance, and I will continue to closely monitor funding levels for local children's services.