SCVO to track spending on children's services

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is to monitor council spending amid fears that the decision not to ring-fence funding for vulnerable children could lead to charities losing out.

Charities that currently receive funding for their work protecting vulnerable children, including The Prince’s Trust, NCH and Children 1st, fear that the Scottish Government’s decision to remove ring-fencing around £34m of funding could lead to money being diverted to other service areas.

They have warned that the policy could lead to a postcode lottery in children’s services north of the border.

An SCVO spokesman said the umbrella body welcomed the switch towards output-focused funding because it would allow local authorities to find local solutions to challenging issues. He added that the SCVO would watch how councils reacted in practice to the change in funding regime before deciding how to react.

“The problem is that the outcome agreements are vague or missing,” he said. “One agreement is to increase the number of ground-nesting birds, but there is nothing about vulnerable children, domestic abuse or people with disabilities.

“If money is moved away from important things, we will certainly make representations for a different set of outcome agreements to be agreed.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “The funding package offered to local government contains adequate allocation for local authorities to meet the commitment and outcomes contained within the concordat, including allowances for the care of vulnerable children.”

The concordat is the document that sets out the working relationship between the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Scottish Government.

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