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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

Our Joint Letter to Party Leaders

Dear Party Leaders,

We write to you as the Children’s Charities Coalition of Action for Children, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society, National Children’s Bureau and NSPCC, with support from almost 200 other organisations who work with children across the UK.

Our Children at the Table campaign is calling for babies, children and young people to be central to policy making ahead of the General Election and their needs to be at the heart of the next Government.

Since the last general election, the pandemic has had a profound impact on children while the cost-of-living crisis has left many families across the UK struggling to make ends meet.

Over four million children are living in poverty. It is thought more than 100,000 young people are in the care system across the UK. An estimated 1.4 million children have a mental health condition in England and are struggling to get access to the support they need.

Without concerted effort, these issues will only get worse.
So far the voices of children and young people have been largely absent from General Election discourse and debate – and no political party has yet set out a comprehensive vision for transforming childhoods.

To put this right we need you to show political will and ambition.

In order to give all children the best chance in life their needs must be considered at all stages of policy making across Government.

That’s why we urge you to transform childhoods by taking meaningful, cross-departmental action to address the issues they face if you form the next government.

Ahead of the General Election you could show national leadership by committing to a Bill to end child poverty, promising to reform children’s social care, and laying out measures you would take to tackle the mental health crisis young people face.

A pledge to ringfence a proportion of the national wealth to spend on issues impacting children would make these policy ambitions a reality.

What’s more you could agree to listen to children and young people themselves.

We urge you or other senior party leaders to engage with children and young people in debate ahead of the General Election. That would give them a genuine seat at the table, both now and after the election.

Future generations and the country will prosper when babies, children, and young people thrive.

We urge you to use this election to make that happen.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Carberry, CEO Action for Children
Lynn Perry MBE, CEO Barnardo’s
Mark Russell, CEO The Children’s Society
Anna Feuchtwang, CEO National Children’s Bureau
Sir Peter Wanless, CEO NSPCC

Children at the Table is supported by the following coalitions and organisations: