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Financial resources and budget allocation

To ensure proper implementation and realisation of children’s rights, Member States need to allocate sufficient financial and human resources to child protection systems. Resource shortages hurt the overall performance of child protection systems, undermining their quality and sustainability.

The data here focus on the budget allocated to child protection. 

In decentralised systems, both the national, regional and local budget finance child protection. In ensuring allocation of adequate resources, it is important to identify the proportion of national and other budgets allocated to children, both directly and indirectly.

Is there a specific budget item allocated to child protection in the annual state budget?

Note:No information available for Italy and Slovenia.

Source: FRA, 2014

Key findings

  • Within decentralised systems, the budget allocated by national governments aims to supplement local budgets, given that local authorities bear primarily responsibility for developing child protection and family support services.
  • National budgets are often allocated based on a formula, which includes variables such as the number of inhabitants in a municipality and/or the number of cases involving children living there.
  • Expenditures related to child protection are often not visible in the state budget because they are distributed across the various areas involving children, such as education, social welfare, allowances and benefits, care, health, justice and nurseries.
  • Very often, the budget allocated to child protection is included in overall expenditure for social policy/social welfare. However, expenditures listed under social expenditures vary by Member State. Typically, they include child allowances or the budget allocated to the responsible child protection authority but do not cover expenditures that fall under the scope of other ministries.
  • There are no legal provisions that dictate the expenditures/budget that local authorities should devote to child protection; this is left to the discretion of the respective authorities.

In most Member States the budget allocated to child protection is not visible, and there is no specific budget line allocated to child protection expenditures.

Only eight Member States (Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden) allocate a specific budget item in their annual state budget to child protection.

In many Member States (for example in the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Spain), there are multiple budget items covering different expenditures connected to child protection, instead of a specific budget chapter or item encompassing all connected expenses.

More often, the budget allocated to child protection is included in the overall expenditure for social policy and social welfare, as for example in  Finland, France, Hungary, Lithuania, PolandRomania. However, the type of expenditure related to child protection that are listed under social expenditures vary among Member States. They typically include child allowances or the budget allocated to the responsible child protection authority, but in principle do not cover expenditures that fall under the scope of other ministries.