Children’s safety- a postcode lottery?
A report produced by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children (APPGC) has raised concerns that the varied thresholds across Local Authorities in supporting children at risk of harm or in need of help equates to a postcode lottery. The report findings, from a survey of 97 directors of children’s services and 1,700 social workers (DCSs), found that there were variations across Local Authorities in the thresholds for deciding when to put a protection plan in place because a child is at significant risk of harm, in the terms for care order applications and provision of early help and wider preventative services. Whilst the APPGC have stated that “Local Authorities should be empowered to set local priorities that respond to the specific needs of their populations”,they believe “that a postcode lottery in children’s social care is unfair to children and families and is not acceptable.” Evidence submitted to the inquiry by social workers and researchers indicated that funding constraints influence decisions on whether to intervene to support children. The APPGC brings together MPs and members of the House of Lords who are committed to improving policy affecting children and young people