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Exploitation of Missing Looked-after Children — [Mr Nigel Evans in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:27 pm on 23rd October 2019.

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Photo of Steve Reed Steve Reed Shadow Minister (Education) (Children and Families) 3:27 pm, 23rd October 2019

I am listening with interest to what the Minister has to say. She is absolutely right about the need to prevent, to reduce the numbers of children needing to go into the care system. Is she aware—she must have conversations with the heads of such services, as I do—that the reason why local authorities are not spending more on prevention is that their funding has been reduced so much: by 50%, on average? They must use what is left to manage crises, so that they have even less to invest in prevention.

Will the Minister consider working with local authorities to set up an investment fund to focus on prevention, to allow them to stop the problems happening? It would cost a little money up front, but save multiples more in future by not allowing young lives to be destroyed.