Responding to the Early Intervention Foundation’s press release on the cost of social problems which affect young people, Cllr David Simmonds, Chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“Councils recognise that investing in early intervention improves the life chances of young people and results in cost savings to the public purse later on. The trouble is that funding streams based on departmental silos mean that too often the savings from investment by one agency are recouped by another, resulting in disincentives to invest in early intervention. Rather than an incentivised fund which councils would have to use much-needed resource bidding for, it is essential that this money is available flexibly to local communities where it can be most effectively put to use.
“Reductions in their funding mean that councils have spent the past four years finding billions of pounds worth of savings, while working hard to protect the services upon which people rely. Councils are spending more on early intervention in children’s lives despite a drop of around 40 per cent in available resources.
“We urgently need to reform how funding is allocated across local services to encourage joint working and savings to encourage investment in early intervention that shifts the balance from crisis spend towards prevention over time.”