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Pressures on children’s social care - Report by NAO

Local authorities in England have statutory responsibility for protecting the welfare of children and delivering children’s social care

As both the National Audit Office (NAO) and the Committee of Public Accounts have previously reported, local authorities’ finances and services are increasingly under strain. In 2016 the Committee of Public Accounts concluded that the Department seemed worryingly complacent that nothing could be done to improve children’s services more quickly, and that it lacked a credible plan for how and by when it would make a difference and ensure that local authorities were intervening effectively to make a difference to children’s lives. Until recently, the Department has not seen it as a central part of its responsibilities to understand drivers in demand for children’s social care across all local authorities. Unless adequate and effective children’s social care is in place, children in need of help or protection will be exposed to neglect, abuse or harm.

National Audit Office report 'Pressures on children’s social care' covers the response of national and local government to increasing demand for children’s social care, and NAO analysis of what is causing variations in this demand between local authorities.