Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

YoungMinds has published its 2013 CAMHS cuts briefing on local authorities. YoungMinds asked all ‘top tier’ local authorities in England using Freedom of Information requests what their Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services CAMHS budget was for 2010/2011, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.  34 of the 51 local authorities which responded had reduced their CAMHS budget since 2010. One council reported a drop of 76% in their CAMHS budget.


Youth justice system

The Youth Justice Board has given Youth Offending Teams across England and Wales an early indication of their Youth Justice Grant funding for 2013/14. It is estimated each YOT will receive an 8.8 per cent reduction in the level of Ministry of Justice funding received as part of the Youth Justice Grant, than was given in 2012/13.  The YJ Grant no longer includes any contribution from the Home Office, as local Police and Crime Commissioners will now receive this money directly from the Home Office, which is to be spent on a wide range of local priorities, including youth crime prevention.

The Ministry of Justice has published its response to a consultation on the new remand framework for children. It reveals that local authorities will get £20.2m to cover the cost of remand places and treating children on remand as looked-after. They had previously been told they would receive £24.6m. The Ministry of Justice said the reduction accounts for falling numbers of under-18s being remanded to custody. London Councils has said they are “extremely concerned that this financial burden will have a hugely detrimental impact on the level of support that boroughs are able to provide”.

Youth Offending Teams (2013)

The Youth Justice Board / Ministry of Justice statistical bulletin Youth Justice Statistics 2011/12 England and Wales has revealed that between 2010/11 and 2011/12 “there was a reduction in the overall level of funding available to YOTs from £373m to £330m, a reduction of 12 per cent. This is the lowest level of funding YOTs received since 2006/07.” The YJB Grant was reduced by 20 per cent, with other sources of YOT funding (including police, probation, health services and Local Authorities) also being reduced.

The bulletin also noted that in June 2011 15,955 people were recorded as working for YOTs in some capacity, a reduction of 15 per cent on the staffing levels in YOTs in 2010/11. In September 2012, Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation Jeremy Wright said that between 2009/10 and 2010/11 there were 835 fewer posts in youth offending teams (YOTs) in England and Wales, including volunteers, part-time and temporary staff, which was a 4% reduction.

A Parliamentary Question has also revealed details of funding received by each YOT in 2011-12, showing that Trafford YOT had the largest reduction in 2011-12 in funding from statutory partners and the YJB: from £3.22 million in 2010-11 to £1.59 million in 2011-12, a decline of 50.4%.

During this period there have also been reductions in the number of young people entering the system for the first time, as well as reductions in those receiving disposals in and out of court, including those receiving custodial sentences.

Local campaigns against cuts to young people’s services

Redbridge Council has confirmed that councillors have reconsidered their initial plans to cut its services for young people budget. Following a youth council campaign against proposed cuts of £696,000, the council will now retain £500,000 for spending on local provision for young people. The council said music and drama centres would also be protected from the cuts, with £175,000 funding, and any remaining savings required would be made through efficiency improvements and not cuts to frontline services.

Campaigns against cuts to young people have also taken place in Newcastle and Birmingham. In Birmingham more than 100 people have protested against plans to make £1.5m of cuts, which could see 30 youth clubs and other services close. In Newcastle, the Newcastle Youth Council has delivered its report on how budget cut proposals will affect 11-18s in the city, with a plea to City Councillors to “restore hope to the young”. ‘A Fair Deal for Young People?’ concludes that young people are getting an unfair deal from local budget plans and those hit hardest will be the most vulnerable, living in the poorest areas.

In North Somerset, 21-year-old Aaron Hunt has been given permission to appeal against a High Court ruling which refused to halt cuts that threaten the youth club for disabled youngsters that he attends. His initial legal challenge, claiming the council had breached the Equality Act, was dismissed at the High Court in July 2012.

Contraceptive and sexual health services

Brook and the Family Planning Association have published Unprotected Nation: The financial and economic impacts of restricted contraceptive and sexual health services. The report argues that short-sighted reforms to contraception and other sexual health services could lead to a significant increase in the number of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, resulting in £137 billion extra healthcare and benefits costs by 2020. It estimates that there could be 22,000 more NHS abortions each year by 2020, if services continue to be cut at their current rate, as well as an extra 91,620 more sexually transmitted disease cases.

Brook chief executive Simon Blake said that restrictions to contraception services would particularly impact on young people “who have to navigate this void alongside a black hole in sex and relationships education programmes”. The report states that improving access to contraceptive and sexual health services could achieve savings of between £3.7bn and £5.1bn by 2020.

Early Intervention Grant part 2

Children’s Minister Edward Timpson has confirmed that the £150 million Early Intervention Grant top sliced by the Department for Education will be returned to local authorities in the form of an Adoption Reform Grant. It was revealed in September 2012 that £150m would “be excluded in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and retained centrally for future use in funding early intervention and children’s services”.

CYP Now has published analysis of local authority funding. It notes that the local government funding settlement for 2013/14 brought in average cuts to local authority funding of 1.7 per cent, but with the additional reductions for childcare and adoption, the Early Intervention Grant “will be reduced by 11 per cent on a like-for-like basis, from £1.919bn in 2012/13 to £1.709bn in 2013/14.” The analysis finds that eight of the ten most deprived areas have received the maximum Early Intervention Grant cut possible of 13%, while nine of the ten least deprived areas received the lowest cut possible of 8.7%.

Local authority expenditure on Children and Young People’s Services part 2

The Department for Education (DfE) has published Local Authority and School Expenditure on Education, Children’s Services and Social Care for 2011-12, Including School Revenue Balances. The Statistical Release presents information on the expenditure of local authorities on their education, children and young people’s services and social care functions (returned to the DfE via the Section 251 Budget Return). It says that Local Authorities in 2011-12:

  • spent a total of £876.6 million (gross) on services for young people, a reduction of £307.5 million (26.0%) compared to 2010-11;
  • spent a total of £338.8 million (gross) on youth justice, a reduction of £73.6 million (17.8%) compared with 2010-11.

More detailed figures from the DfE show that expenditure on youth work (which is included in the ‘services for young people’ figures) was £402.3 million in 2011-12, compared with £396.2 million in 2010-11. This spreadsheet also says that changes to categories under ‘Total Services for Young People’ between 2010-11 and 2011-12 mean it is not possible to compare totals between years.

These figures update a previous report on planned expenditure in 2012-13.