Dudley child services in £3m shortfall

A growing number of children being taken into care will leave a £3 million shortfall in a cash-strapped council’s coffers, bosses are predicting.

Dudley Council is expecting to overspend its children’s services budget for the current financial year.

Latest figures show there were 628 children in care during the 2010/11 financial year. There are currently 762, around 25 higher than the number expected.

Extra resources have been ploughed into the children’s social care services to help meet the increased demand for help either with foster families or council or independently managed homes.

But council bosses say they’re having to now find a way to balance the books in the wake of further funding cuts, which will mean them having to save around £60million over the next three years.

Councillor Tim Crumpton, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We will always put the safety of our children first and while we have to be aware of the costs associated with this and are always looking at the best ways to help them it is not about the money, it is about the child.”