Salford Charity Action for Children has expressed concern over “dangerous” and “devastating” cuts to children’s services in the area.
A new study published by the UK’s leading charities reveals that funding available for children has been reduced by a third per child.
The charities are warning that thousands more children and young people could fall into crisis if these cuts continue.
Chief Executive at Action for Children, Salford, Julie Bentley said: “Children’s services are at breaking point and these alarming figures reveal the true scale of the devastating and dangerous funding cuts made year after year by successive governments.
“Every day at Action for Children we see that children’s services can be a lifeline for families – from helping mums suffering with post-natal depression or families struggling to put food on the table, to spotting children quietly living in fear of domestic abuse or neglect.
“There are communities who are new to this country and have experienced a displacement from their home countries coming into Salford.”
“Thousands of families across Manchester rely on these services to step in and stop problems spiralling out of control.”
She continued: “With the number of child protection cases and children being taken into care at their highest for a decade, it’s unthinkable to continue forcing councils to make crippling cuts to services. Without urgent cash from central government, thousands more children at risk of neglect and abuse will slip through the cracks and into crisis.”
In the UK, over 1,000 children’s centres have closed since 2004, while 760 youth centres have shut since 2015, according to figures published by Action for Children.
It is estimated that by 2025 councils across the UK will face a £3 billion gap in funding.
The research conducted by the charities found:
- Council spending on early intervention services for children including Sure Start centres and youth clubs fell by 49% to £1.9bn since 2012. More than 1,000 children’s centres and 600 youth clubs have closed. Spending on disabled children fell 11%.
- There was a 12% increase in spending on late intervention, fuelled by a 17% increase in the number of children in care since 2010. Child protection and youth justice spending also soared, a trend that was “unlikely to change in the near future”, the charities said.
For extra information Action for Children’s website can be visited here.