"Children in Northamptonshire suffer preventable harm" because early intervention budget slashed by £11m, charity says

Report highlights Northamptonshire County Council could be "less able" to help families and children after government cutbacks
Report highlights Northamptonshire County Council could be "less able" to help families and children after government cutbacks

Reductions in Government expenditure means Northamptonshire could be storing up "entrenched, serious and expensive" for its children, a report has found.

The study by The Children’s Society, who provide support for vulnerable children across the country, has revealed how Northamptonshire County Council have been awarded £11,430,875 less in early intervention funding compared with 2010.

The early intervention grant can aid babies and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays.

It pays for:

- support for children’s centres

-information and advice for young people including careers services

-teenage pregnancy and substance misuse services

-young offender and crime prevention services

- family support services

-early years and children’s social care workforce development

The report says: “This massive reduction means local authorities are less able to address the problems experienced by children and families at an early stage.

Children suffer harm that could have been prevented and the state is faced with greater costs as they are forced to deal with more entrenched, serious and expensive problems at a later date.

“The consistent fall in funding nationally and across regions reflects the stark reality facing local authorities and the scale of the challenge they now face in preserving early intervention services in the future.

“These substantial spending reductions mean that, in coming years, local authorities will need to put particular emphasis on early intervention services when allocating their annual budgets.”

The report shows that the early intervention grant has diminished by 41 percent between 2010-2011 and 2016-2017.

Northamptonshire County Council have this year been allocated £27,783,091 as opposed to £39,213,966 almost seven years ago.

A Northamptonshire County Council spokeswoman said changes to funding from central government is a constant challenge.

She said: "There have been other funding streams made available to local authorities for early intervention work, such as an expansion of early education funding to more disadvantaged two-year-olds.

“In Northamptonshire, we are committed to providing early intervention support for children and families through a range of services including our Early Help Families programme, which has helped 1,087 families and generated payments from the Government of £1.12m in its first phase.”