Childhood is in crisis. It’s time for government to act

Posted by / Monday 08 July 2019 / Campaigns
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A decade of funding cuts and underinvestment has left vulnerable children without vital support. Our new campaign - Choose Childhood - calls for urgent action

Every child deserves a safe and happy childhood. But more and more families are falling into crisis. Children in the UK are missing out on vital support they need to face abuse and neglect, deprivation, domestic abuse and poor mental health. 

We’re calling for urgent action from government to change this - and we need as many people as possible to add their voices to the campaign. 

Research shows that 4.1 million children in the UK are living in poverty. That’s the equivalent of nine children in an average school classroom of 30. One hundred and seven children go into care every day because their home is no longer safe. And there’s been a 38% increase in children being identified as at risk of harm in the past eight years.

Today, new and intense pressures make life for vulnerable children and young people even more complicated. Poor mental health is an escalating crisis, and many are struggling to get the help they need.   

This crisis in childhood follows a decade of funding cuts and underinvestment. Since 2010, more than 1,000 children’s centres have closed in England – with further cuts expected. Funding for essential children’s services, prevention and welfare support has been drastically reduced.

When we surveyed parents and grandparents, in partnership with YouGov, 60% told us they think that childhood today is worse than for previous generations. Children and young people said the top barriers to a good childhood are being bullied, pressure at school and pressure to fit in. Two-thirds of parents think government is not investing enough in children.

At Action for Children, we support more than 387,000 children and their families every year. Day in, day out, we see children who are hurting. This is why we’re asking for a National Childhood Strategy for the UK, investment in the services that keep children safe, and a focus on early intervention. 

These children have no choice over these circumstances – or over government policy. But we do. So let’s tell the government it’s time for change. It’s time to Choose Childhood.

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Last year we helped 387,000 children, young people and families in the UK.

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