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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
 
  • Post-election poll by Children’s Charities Coalition shows 78% of the UK public would support a new parliamentary Bill to end child poverty.
  • 81% of the public said they would support new policies that provide more early intervention services for children’s social care.
  • Over 28,000 supporters sign petition asking Sir Keir Starmer to be a champion for children and spend more of the nation’s wealth on babies, children and young people.

More than three-quarters (78%) of people would support the Government introducing a new parliamentary Bill to eradicate child poverty.

A post-election YouGov survey of over 2,000 adults commissioned by the Children’s Charities Coalition – Action for Children, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society, National Children’s Bureau and the NSPCC – revealed that 78% of respondents would support the introduction of an End Child Poverty Bill.

This follows new figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions today which show there were 1.6 million children living in households affected by the two-child limit on benefits policy as of April this year.

The poll also showed that over 6 in 10 of those surveyed (62%) believe that more should be done to address the needs of babies, children and young people. When asked about issues impacting children:

  • 81% of the public said they would support new policies that provide more early intervention services for children’s social care.
  • 82% of the public said they would support new policies that provide greater funding and services for children in care.
  • 69% of the public said they would support the creation of a Cabinet Committee specifically focused on the needs of children.

 

There are currently 4.3 million children living in poverty, which underpins a wide array of issues that young people face including mental health and wellbeing, education, and physical health. Families from the poorest neighbourhoods are 14 times more likely to be referred to children’s social care than those from the richest areas.

The Coalition believes these issues are complex and multifaceted, and therefore cannot be tackled by individual Government departments in isolation. Instead, what is needed to tackle the issues facing our babies, children and young people is a cross-government mission, led by the Prime Minister, that focuses on the needs of children and champions their education, health and wellbeing outcomes. This is vital for ensuring all children have access to opportunities and can grow up safer, healthier and happier.

The new Labour Government has already committed to a child poverty strategy and has faced increasing pressure to remove the two-child limit. Now, the new Government’s first 100 days provides an opportunity for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and start to eradicate child poverty by setting out a new direction of travel in the King’s Speech on Wednesday 17 July.

Alongside the cross-government strategy Labour committed to in their election manifesto, the Children’s Charities Coalition wants to see the new Government bring forward a comprehensive Child Poverty Bill.

This must include a series of targets designed to eradicate child poverty over time, with clear milestones starting immediately and with others every two to three years, enshrined in legislation. One of the early milestones must be the removal of the two-child limit on benefit payments.

Today (11th July), five young campaigners are visiting Number 10 to deliver a petition, signed by more than 28,000 people, to Sir Keir Starmer on behalf of the Children’s Charities Coalition. The petition asked Government to:

  1. Work together across Government to improve the lives of babies, children and young people.
  2. Put babies, children and young people’s needs and voices at the heart of decision making
  3. Spend more of the nation’s wealth on babies, children and young people.

14-year-old Chan, an Action for Children Young Ambassador who delivered the petition, said:Children are an important part of society. We’re the hope and future of the country. But if we don’t see ourselves as a priority for those in power, then we could end up with a hopeless society. A society where young people grow up with no ambition or aspiration. Where they feel there’s nothing to look forward to.

“But children like me are not always in the position to speak up easily. So, I’m asking political parties to champion the rights of all children. Children’s voices and needs must be at the beginning, middle, and end of any important decisions they make.”

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: “With a new Government comes new opportunities. Sir Keir Starmer has the chance to be truly ambitious for children across the UK and set out a mission that ensures they can grow up safer, happier and healthier, starting with tackling child poverty.

“While he has pledged to implement a new child poverty strategy, he and his Government must go one step further and commit to bringing forward legislation that will address child poverty at the earliest opportunity.

“This would be a powerful indicator that his Government is serious about delivering on their promise to “give children their future back” and demonstrate that the Prime Minister is listening to the public when they tell him that they want new legislation to eradicate child poverty once and for all.”