£6.5m cuts hit children hardest

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AN ASSESSMENT has been made by Sheffield Council officials of the impact of £6.5 million cuts to services in the summer.

A report recognises the changes will have had a “greater impact” on services to young people which bore the brunt of the savings.

But officers believe it is too early for the full consequences to be known.

They say youth service Sheffield Futures has suffered “no reduction in front line posts so services on the ground have not been affected”.

Ninety-five of 368 jobs at the organisation have been axed – but the officers said redundancies had been among managerial posts, although some front line staff had volunteered to leave.

There had been “realignment” of remaining Sheffield Futures staff with Youth Support teams to provide “a more targeted model of support” to children and young people.

Work has also been done with school councils and youth groups to ensure young people have a say on the service’s priorities.

It was “too early” to assess the impact of a reduction in funding for children’s study support and positive activities for young people, as contracts are in the process of being terminated, the report said.

Meanwhile, cuts affecting the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service were said to have increased waiting times for support but “not beyond statutory limits”.

All sexual health outreach services remain open despite a cut to funding, although fewer youngsters are being seen.

Meanwhile, £100,000 savings in parks and countryside came from not filling vacant posts and cutting hours for some staff.