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At a recent SWAN London meeting (10th September 2014), group member and social work educator, Tom Henri, presented the findings of recent research into food bank use in London Borough of Lewisham. This is a synopsis of the qualitative research:


Underfunded safeguarding services leaves unidentified children at risk, writes, Jolyon Jones of SWAN West Midlands.

A shortfall of resources has been identified as a critical issue in the Le Grand Review of children’s social care services in Birmingham which was published last week.


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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