More cash earmarked for adults and children in Dudley borough

More than £40million extra funding looks set to be pumped into services for adults and children to tackle massive financial strain on the system.

Adult social care and children’s services at Dudley Council are forecasting a combined £12million pressure next year, following an increase nationally, with more vulnerable adults and children needing care and support, often with more complex needs.

Council leaders have vowed to continue make vulnerable people a priority for funding and are looking to increase funding in the budget over the next three years, recognising the ongoing needs.

If the budget is approved, it will see an extra £13.3million invested in adult social care next year, rising to £21.8million the following year and up to £29.2million in year three.

Children’s services will receive an extra £7.8million extra in the budget this year, increasing to £10.5million the year after and £12.4million in the final year, if the budget is approved by councillors in the February budget meeting. Councillor Matt Rogers, cabinet member for adult social care, said:

"It is getting more expensive to provide services and we are having to work harder than ever to meet the increased demand on the service. This extra funding will go a long way to balancing the books and making sure we can get services to the people who need them most.

"We are taking a firmer grip on our own finances and working hard to set a sustainable budget whilst protecting essential services."

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children’s services, added: "As a child friendly borough, we are putting children first when looking at funding and the borough’s future.

"We want families and children to be supported before they get into crisis, which is why we have invested in early intervention and prevention work, such as the five Family Hubs and the Family Safeguarding model. These actions along with many others that our amazing staff are delivering day in and day out are already making and really positive difference to families across the borough.

"However, we recognise especially in the wake of Covid the ripple effect this is having, with families and children who do need our support have a greater complexity of need. This has been recognised by the government when they commissioned a study by the CMA into children’s placements."

To support the Council through these ongoing financial challenges an improvement board has been set up.

A report on the budget will be considered by cabinet on January 11 before being determined at a meeting of the full council in February.


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