Councils are set to receive a £17m boost in funding to help support vulnerable children through social care services, the Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi has announced.

As part of the government’s £20m improvement strategy for children’s social care announced last year, more than £15m will go towards eight Partners in Practice partnerships­ – an initiative to help drive peer support-led improvements to children’s services.

The government pledged the cash to help councils which were at risk of service failure.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which will receive the remaining £2m, will be tasked with making sure that lead council members have the skills needed to monitor performance and improve services.

Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said: ‘This investment for our Partners in Practice Programme will help the fantastic work councils are doing to deliver high-quality services and make a real difference to children’s lives.’

Councillor Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s children and young people board, added: ‘We are pleased that the minister has backed the LGA’s call for children’s improvement funding.

‘This will help to deliver an enhanced programme of sector-led support to councils, offering everything from regular ‘health checks’ and training for lead members and senior officers.’

The new partnerships are Ealing, Camden, North Tyneside and South Tyneside in partnership, Essex, Stockport, Hackney, East Riding of Yorkshire and Doncaster Trust.