Children’s services cuts ‘a false economy’, Ofsted warns

Cuts to children’s services budgets for family support and youth work represent a “false economy”, simply leading to greater pressure on safeguarding provision, Ofsted has warned. The inspectorate’s annual report noted that while the overall effectiveness of children’s services provision is continuing to improve, the impact of ongoing financial restrictions risks jeopardising progress. Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said that local authority social care budgets have experienced the most significant reductions across the public sector, although statutory safeguarding and child protection services have, to date, largely been locally protected. However, she said that reductions in funding in other areas, such as preventative and wider children’s services, mean that councils are less able to intervene early, before young people need statutory services. “The evidence suggests that these cuts to youth and other services are a false economy, simply leading to greater pressures elsewhere,” she said. Read more.