Report identifies Northamptonshire County Council might be "less able" to help new families following government cutbacks

Reductions in government expenditure could mean Northamptonshire County Council is less likely to confront children and families complications in early years, says report.

Wednesday, 21st December 2016, 11:57 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:11 pm
Report highlights Northamptonshire County Council could be "less able" to help families and children after government cutbacks

The Children’s Society, who provide support for vulnerable children across the country, has revealed new statistics, which identifies how the council have been assigned £11,430,875 less in early intervention funding compared to 2010.

The early intervention grant lends a hand to financing a system of services that aids babies and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays.

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.

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“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.

The report continues to say: “In 2010, before the emergency budget, £3.2 billion was allocated by the central government for local authority early intervention services.

“By comparison, the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review stated that £939 million would be provided to local authorities for early intervention services by 2019/20.

“This would equate to a real terms reduction of 71 percent for early intervention services between 2010– 11 and 2019–20.

A Northamptonshire County Council spokeswoman told the Chron changes to funding from central government are 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.”