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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

Reacting to the Labour Party Manifesto, the Children’s Charities Coalition – Action for Children, Barnardo’s, NCB, NSPCC, The Children’s Society – said:

“Today Keir Starmer laid out his plan for “change” and “growth”, talking about the UK being a place of opportunity, a country that will “be better for your children”. While we recognise – and welcome – this ambition, as charities representing the voices of thousands of children across the UK, we are concerned that today’s manifesto does not fully address the urgent needs of children, or the scale of the challenge facing young people in this country.

“Though we welcome the plan for a cross-government child poverty strategy – something that is desperately needed – there is no commitment in Labour’s manifesto to end the two-child limit. This is a clear and simple way to immediately lift 300,000 children out of poverty, so its omission is deeply disappointing.

“We were also pleased to see Labour promise to introduce specialist mental health support for children and young people in every school, as well as community hubs for young people. Around 1.4 million children have a diagnosable mental health condition in England, and many wait far too long for support, so this is something we have long campaigned for. It needs to be an urgent priority for the next government. We welcome the introduction of a single unique identifier, which will join up children’s records across education, healthcare and children’s services.

“However, support for the most disadvantaged children and families does not go far enough. There was little concrete commitment in the manifesto to help struggling families as early as possible and no plan to transform support for children in crisis. The number of families in need of children’s social care support is growing and the number of children in care is at a record high. We think this is a missed opportunity which risks letting down the children and young people most in need of help.

“We know the scale of the challenge facing the next government. But our children and young people deserve more. We urge Keir Starmer and all other party leaders to become a champion for children, to listen to their voices and to take ambitious action to secure children’s futures.”