To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he makes of the change in demand for (a) children’s social care and (b) children and adolescent mental health services since schools returned for the autumn term.
24 September 2020
The department has been working closely with local authorities to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, setting up dedicated regional teams that are in frequent contact. Bringing together expertise from across the department, these teams monitor the challenges local authorities are facing, including any increases in demand and can provide support and guidance where appropriate.
We are also monitoring referrals to children’s services via our regional teams and via the Vulnerable Children and Young People survey, which collects data fortnightly from local authorities in England. The latest release is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vulnerable-children-and-young-people-survey.
The next wave of data will be published on 14 October 2020 and will include data from the period since schools returned for the autumn term.
The government has provided £3.7 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures, including in children’s services.
We will continue to work closely with local authorities as the COVID-19 outbreak progresses and for the upcoming Spending Review on long-term funding decisions.