In 2017/18, councils across England were forced to spend £816 million more on children's social care than they had planned and councils now face a growing funding gap into 2025. This is why I welcome the additional £890 million that the 2018 Budget made available for adult and social care services to help councils like Leicestershire over the next two years. The Budget also allocated £84 million to improve social work practices and to expand our Children's Social Care Programmes so that our children continue to receive high-quality services in the future.
As you may know, the local authorities choose how to spend the Social Care Support Grant, which gives them the flexibility to meet a variety of local needs across England. This is why I am pleased that the grant allocated £4.1 million to Leicestershire for 2019/20. Moreover, I am also pleased that Leicestershire County Council has increased its Capital Programme 2018-22 funding for children and family services from £17.3 million in 2018/19 to £22.9 million in 2019/20.
I am also eagerly awaiting the release of the Government's Green Paper on social care for adults, which is set to be published in 2019. It will provide much-needed feedback on the future of social care in our country and provide solutions to tackle the difficult challenges ahead.
Nevertheless, more needs to be done and the Spending Review next year will provide the ideal opportunity to make sure a long-term financial commitment is made to close the gap in funding for children's services.