Vulnerable children are being put at risk because council support services face being cut due to the Covid crisis.
A string of councils, including Croydon, have tabled emergency budgets involving cuts to spending on young people because of a financial black hole.
Proposed savings in children’s services at Croydon have been put at £4.1 million, with Luton council proposing to cut £3.2 million from its children and families budget.
Luton council said the pandemic had caused a “catastrophic impact” on its finances.
A spokesman for the Local Government Association said: “Councils continue to work all day and night to lead communities through this pandemic but are being stretched to the maximum as a result.
“Many are facing increased cost and demand pressures as a result, while at the same time as seeing a significant drop in income.”
A spokesman for the ministry covering local government said: “These misleading claims ignore the unprecedented support the Government has provided local councils during the pandemic with a £4.3bn package, including £3.7bn which is not ringfenced, to help them support their communities, including vulnerable children.”