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  • • Nearly half of children in care have a mental health disorder
  • • 4.3 million children in the UK are living in poverty
  • • Nearly half of children in care have a mental health disorder
  • • 1.4 million children & young people have a probable mental health disorder
  • • 1 in 5 babies aren’t receiving their entitled health visiting check at one year old

CEOs from the Children’s Charities Coalition: Paul Carberry: Action for Children; Lynn Perry MBE: Barnardo’s; Mark Russell: The Children’s Society; Anna Feuchtwang: National Children’s Bureau; Sir Peter Wanless: NSPCC, said:

“On behalf of babies, children and young people across the UK, we extend a warm welcome to our new Prime Minister.

“Prime Minister, the task ahead of you is momentous. In the UK today, we have around 4.3 million children growing up in poverty – across the country, children are going to school hungry or are returning to homes without heating or even a bed to sleep in. An estimated 1.4 million children have a mental health condition, with many unable to get the support they need from a system buckling under huge pressures.

“We were pleased to see a commitment to a cross-government child poverty strategy in the Labour manifesto. Likewise, we welcome the promise to introduce specialist mental health support for children in every school, as well as community hubs and the introduction of a single unique identifier to join up children’s records across education, healthcare and children’s services. We urge you to stay true to these promises in the early days of this new government.

“However, we also make a plea on behalf of the babies, children and young people we represent to go further – to make this a moment in time to genuinely put them at the heart of this government. We need action to transform children’s social care, with a focus on early intervention support, and we need an end to the two-child limit which unfairly keeps hundreds of thousands of families in poverty. We need children’s voices to be heard.

“Prime Minister, we recognise the scale of the challenge before you this morning. But our children deserve better. We urge you to become a champion for the UK’s children and to take ambitious action now to secure their futures.”