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Soaring demands for children's social services.

Soaring demands for children's social services.

Soaring demands for children’s social services are not understood by the Government despite an £872 million overspend last year, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has warned.

Around 91% of local authorities strayed above budget for children’s social care in 2017-18, a trend the Department for Education has “not yet done the work” to unpick, according to the National Audit Office.

The lack of detailed analysis comes despite wild variations in spending from one council to the next in recent years, along with astronomical rises in certain care requirements.

While referrals to children’s social care stayed roughly in line with population growth at 7% between 2010-11 and 2017-18, child protection assessments jumped 77%, it was found.

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