WillisPalmer is continuing to provide our expert social work and psychological services during lockdown. We are utilising technology alongside safe working practices in line with government guidance to enable us to continue supporting vulnerable children and families.

Call 01206 878178 to discuss your requirements.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

LGA warns of anticipated spike in demand for services after falling numbers of referrals in lockdown

The Local Government Association is urging the government to use the forthcoming Spending Review to ensure councils have long-term, sustainable funding for children’s services ahead of anticipated rise in demand for support services.

While the number of referrals to children’s services decreased during lockdown, the impact of the restrictions imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus on children will be far-reaching and it is widely anticipated that there will be a spike in referrals when young people are back in schools and not hidden from teaching and social work professionals.

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “The impacts of the pandemic will be far reaching for some children, young people and their families. As this becomes clearer, more children and their families are likely to need support and councils expect to see a significant rise in referrals to children’s social care and demand for wider children’s support services.

“Some children and their families will need significant interventions, but others will just need some extra help to get through a difficult period. It will be essential that the right services can be there to support them and help them cope,” she added.

It is for this very reason that WillisPalmer has launched our Children’s Charter to ensure children who have experienced abuse or neglect in lockdown are identified and offered the right support as soon as possible. We are urging the government to ensure children’s services are adequately resourced to cope with the expected demand in services to prevent a generation of young people being tarnished by the impact of lockdown.

The latest figures show children’s social care teams received 41,190 referrals between April and June – around 18 per cent lower than the same period over each of the past three years. They also reveal that 1,640 children started to be looked after as a result over the same period – down a third on the same period over each of the past three years.

Councils have deep concerns about falling referrals, according to the LGA. They are working with their partners and communities to try to identify children who may be at risk and putting in place plans to ensure that if referrals spike when children return to school this week, they are able to ensure children and families get the right help quickly.

Funding pressures and increased demand for child protection services prior to the pandemic has led to councils being forced to scale back or cut universal and early help services altogether.

The LGA is urging the government to use the forthcoming Spending Review to ensure councils have long-term, sustainable funding to invest in preventative, universal and early help services so children, young people and families receive the practical, emotional, educational and mental health support they need, as soon as they need it.

This will not only reduce demand on other parts of the public sector, including the NHS and police, but tackle the inequalities exposed by the pandemic and give all young people the chance to fulfil their potential.

Matt Dunkley, head of Kent Council’s children and young people’s department - the largest child protection department in the country, has warned that the increase in the number of referrals to children’s services could be in the region of 250%. He said there will be a “crisis” when children return to school.

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, added: “It is vital that councils have the funding they need to support children, young people and families during the current phase of the crisis and beyond. Investment in crucial preventative services would mean help can be available when it is first needed and not when families and young people reach crisis point.”

Make an enquiry

A multi-disciplinary organisation providing independent, high quality social work and psychological services. Contact us with your requirements and speak to a member of our team who will help you today.
Make an Enquiry

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Progress in production of code for civil claimants of child sexual abuse


Work is underway for a code to be produced for the benefit of claimants who are bringing civil claims for child sexual abuse.

In its Accountability and Reparations Inquiry , the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse recommended that The International Underwriting Association of London should take the lead in the production of a code [...]

Read Full Story

Bill introduced to see all crimes committed by under-18s dealt with in youth courts


A bill has been introduced to Parliament which would ensure that all children are dealt with by the youth courts rather than the adult courts if the alleged crime is carried out before the child reaches 18.

Rob Butler, former magistrate in both adult and youth courts, a member of the Youth Justice Board, a non-executive [...]

Read Full Story

Rise in parental drug and alcohol misuse since first lockdown


The NSPCC has seen a rapid increase in contacts from members of the public that children are being put at risk as a result of parental drug and alcohol misuse.

Since April 2020, the number of people contacting the children’s charity with concerns about drug and alcohol misuse among parents has risen by 66%. Between January [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram