Thank you for contacting me about funding for children’s services.
Local authorities receive funding through local taxes, fees and charges, as well as from central government. They make decisions on spending for social care for children and young people based on their local needs and priorities. I welcome that councils will receive more than £200 billion for local services, including children's social care up to 2020. This forms part of a historic four-year settlement which means councils can plan ahead with certainty.
There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of children. I know that many councils are already doing excellent work, but too many young people and their families are being let down by poor quality services. It is clear that decisive action must be taken where performance is not good enough.
I know that ensuring children get the best possible support is a top priority for the Department for Education and I am encouraged by the investment of £200 million through the Children's Social Care Innovation Programme. This provides councils and the voluntary and community sector with funding and support to develop new and better ways of delivering services. £20 million of investment has been announced for an improvement programme for children's social care services, with a sharp focus on making sure that those at risk of failing can make vital improvements. As well as this, the Budget announced that over the next five years £84 million of social care funding will go to expanding children's social care programmes to 20 further councils with rising numbers of children in care.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.