As a coalition of leading independent and third sector providers we are deeply concerned by the threat of potential funding cuts to vital children’s services across local authorities in Scotland and have launched a major campaign to protect these.
As local authorities consult on their budget proposals, the potential to cut services is set against a backdrop of increasing demand for children’s services, with the number of those identified with Additional Support Needs (ASN) standing at over 140,000, around one in five of the school population.
Urgent action is required to ensure that those children and young people with ASN are identified as early as possible, and provided with adequate support. Local authorities are however finding it increasingly difficult to provide the necessary services due to budget cuts.
Local authorities are therefore being required to achieve more with less, and this serves only to increase the barriers that children’s services departments face in delivering the best outcomes for vulnerable young people.
Cutting already diminished resources is simply not an option and we would urge local authorities to protect services for children and young people, using the current financial environment as an opportunity to explore the potential for public service reform and the delivery of services in the most efficient and effective manner.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition:
Tom McGhee, Chairman, Spark of Genius
Duncan Dunlop, Chief Executive, Who Cares? Scotland
Stuart Jacob, Director, Falkland House School
Sophie Pilgrim, Director, Kindred
Niall Kelly, Managing Director, Young Foundations