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Jolyon Jones of West Midlands SWAN writes on Birmingham City Council's serious underspend in Children's services. 

Birmingham Council's cabinet this week agreed a Transformation plan for the social work services charged with safeguarding children in the city. The plan proposes that an additional £9.2m is allocated which will be a 'permanent increase to the safeguarding revenue' and will be carried forward into the budget for 2014-15.

This is an important move by the Council which will help stabilise safeguarding services, and in particular the staffing of social work teams, and most importantly it will hopefully lead to improvements in the protection of children in the city.

The background to this move is that in the financial year’s 2011-12 and 2012-13 Birmingham council's spend on children’s social care reduced from £617 to £607 per young person. (1) (This does not include the budget cuts of 2013-14 which will likely see a further drop in per head spend this year).

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