Children in care: Understanding Austerity's Affect

Learn why more children are entering care due to austerity measures. Discover how family courts are affected and explore solutions of Children in care for better support in simple terms.

Children in care: Understanding Austerity's Affect

Think about when people have to spend less money. Sometimes, governments decide to spend less money, too. This is called austerity. But when governments do this, it can affect important things, like helping kids who need it. This article looks at how austerity is making more Children in care, what's happening in the family courts, and how we can make things better.

Austerity Hurts Kids:

When governments spend less money, it affects a lot of things, including services for families and Children in care. Sir Andrew McFarlane, a top judge, says that because of austerity, it's harder for social workers to help families. They don't have enough resources to do much except take families to court. This means more Children end up in care.

More Kids Need Help:

In England, there are now a lot more Children in care than before. Almost 84,000 kids needed care last year. That's a record high. This shows that there are more families who need help, but there aren't enough resources to help them.

John Pearce, who helps run Children in care services, says that local governments are under a lot of pressure. They want to help Children in care and families, but they don't have enough money to do it.

Making Courts More Open:

Family courts are where important decisions about kids and families are made. But these courts have always been secret. Now, there's a push to make them more open. This means letting journalists report on what happens in court as long as they don't reveal who the families are.

Sir Andrew McFarlane supports this idea. He says it's good to let people know what happens in court, as long as families' privacy is protected. The BBC has been reporting on cases, like when baby Finley Boden was returned to his parents, who later hurt him. These stories help people understand what's going on.

Delays and Problems in Courts:

Courts have a lot of work to do, and sometimes they take too long to make decisions. This is a big problem for kids and families waiting for answers. Cases about Children in care are supposed to finish in 26 weeks, but most take longer.

Sir Andrew McFarlane says that after COVID-19, more parents separating, When people have to speak for themselves in court, it takes more time to solve things. This means kids have to wait longer to find out what will happen to them.

How to Make Things Better:

The government wants to help families without making them go to court. They're offering more legal advice and mediation to help solve problems. They're also trying to help families dealing with abuse.

Sir Andrew McFarlane thinks these ideas are good. He wants to make sure that cases don't take too long. He says family cases are different because Children in care need answers quickly to feel safe.

Finding Hope in Tough Times:

Even though things are hard, there's hope for making things better. We can work together to help kids and families get the support they need. By making courts more open and finding ways to help families without going to court, we can create a better future for everyone.

Helping Families Early

It's important to help families as soon as we can. We should put money into programs that help families when they first start having problems. These programs can give parents advice, support, and connections to community help. By helping families early, we can stop problems from getting worse and needing court help. This means families can stay together and kids can be safer. So, it's important to invest in these early help programs to make sure families get support when they need it most.


In tough times, it's important to remember that we can make a difference. By understanding how austerity affects Children in care and families, we can find ways to help them. Making courts more open and finding ways to solve problems without going to court are steps in the right direction. Together, we can build a brighter future where every child gets the care and support they deserve.


1. Why are more Children in care?

  • More children need care because families face problems like not enough money or family issues. It's harder for families to get help because there's not enough support.

2. How does austerity affect family courts?

  • Austerity makes family courts busier and slower. There aren't enough resources, so it's tough for social workers and judges to handle all the cases.

3. What happens when family court decisions take too long?

  • When decisions take too long, it's hard for Children in care and families. They don't know what will happen, and it's tough to plan for the future.

4. What's being done to help families better?

  • People are trying to offer more advice and services to help families without going to court. They want to solve problems and help families get support.

5. How does transparency in family courts help?

  • Transparency lets everyone understand how decisions are made. It also helps people see if the courts are doing their job right.

6. How can we help kids and families in need?

  • We can help by asking for better support services and volunteering to help families in our community. We can also be there for families who need support during tough times.