The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, thinks they should.
National and local budgets for vulnerable children should be pooled to enable them to flourish, the Children’s Commissioner for England has said. Anne Longfield OBE has called on authorities to involve children and families in decisions made about them and provide better support for vulnerable children as they moved into adulthood.
Addressing delegates at the LGA’s National Children and Adult Services Conference, in Bournemouth, Anne Longfield said:
“We need to look more boldly and radically at ways to transform vulnerable children’s lives – the evidence shows that people flourish if they have support that is joined up and responds and understands their particular situation.
“True transformation comes from empowering parents and families by giving them control of resources. As part of our strategy to tackle poverty we could introduce this from birth and in the early years.
“As they transition into adulthood, vulnerable children experience huge difficulties as they move between very different support systems, so there is a need to make this experience more personalised for their particular needs.”
The Children’s Commissioner for England told delegates that there was already a precedent for pooled budgets in the form of the NHS Integrated Personalised Commissioning programme.
“We have heard warnings and concerns about the ability to deliver on the core needs of the most vulnerable if budgets are reduced further,” she added.
“The scale of the challenge we are facing demands new and radical ideas and solutions. Evidence for personal budgets for adults showed better outcomes and better value for money – we should try this for children with complex needs.”