Many thanks to those who have contacted me about the Action for Children campaign.
Local authorities receive funding through local taxes, fees and charges, as well as from central government. They make decisions on spending for social care for children and young people based on their local needs and priorities. I welcome the fact that more than £3 billion of additional funding is being made available to councils to spend on local services, including children’s social care, in 2020-21. This builds on the £200 billion councils were already due to receive up to 2020.
There is nothing more important than the safety and wellbeing of children. I know that many councils are already doing excellent work, but too many young people and their families are being let down by poor quality services. Decisive action must be taken where performance is not good enough.
I know that ensuring children get the best possible support is a top priority for the Department for Education and I am encouraged by the investment of £200 million through the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme. This provides councils and the voluntary and community sector with funding and support to develop new and better ways of delivering services. The manifesto I stood on recently committed to a review of the care system to make sure that all care settings are providing children and young adults with the support they need.
I recently met with Cllr Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills where we discussed the Council’s detailed plans. I was pleased to hear they are working in conjunction with strategic partners locally (the Police, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Police and Crime Commissioner) with the objective being to support families and children to live safe, happy and healthy lives.
Unfortunately, due to a prior Parliamentary commitment I was unable to attend the drop-in event held by Action for Children. However, I will continue to monitor developments in this area closely.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.