Britain facing vulnerable children “time bomb”

By Charles Maggs

Flaws in the funding of UK children's services are creating a "ticking time bomb" according to the charity Action for Children.

A report from the charity entitled 'Red Book 2012' shows 30,000 of the children supported by the Action for Children are finding life tougher than a year ago.

The report concludes that with charities services becoming increasingly stretched, they are having to focus more work on crisis intervention than on long term preventative measures. 

"The Red Book 2012 highlights problems that, while new to individual children and families, have persisted for decades," Action for Children's chief executive Clare Tickell said.

"We are sitting on a ticking time bomb that has the potential for both human and financial repercussions."

Tickell expressed support for the government's policy of early intervention, but insisted some cuts have created a false economy which could cost £1.3 billion a year in other costs over the long term.

The group is now calling for local councils to be forced by statute to provide early intervention services in areas under their control and commit to more long term spending plans for early intervention.

However, with borrowing rising in the first half of this year it is unlikely that spending plans with be revised up as the UK's debt level continues to rise to well over £1 trillion.