Policy work and research

We speak up for children and make sure their voices are heard

We amplify the voices of children and young people, and work to bring lasting change to their lives. We do this by carrying out research, working with politicians, and running public campaigns.

View our policy reports

Looking for research to inform your work or drive change?

Policy reports

Cuts to key services are leaving vulnerable families and children without support, building on a decade of funding cuts and under-investment. We’re calling on the government to act.

Universal Credit is a token gesture. They say it helps us get back into work, but you know, the structure is not there. I feel like single-parent families who are on low income, we've just been shoved aside. I feel like I can't fulfil my full potential as an adult, but also as a parent.

Brighter Future Ahead, 2022
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Young girl holding teddy

Criminally exploited children

In November 2023, Action for Children launched the Jay Review of Criminally Exploited Children. The aim of the review was to understand what’s working to protect children from exploitation and find out what more can be done. The review was chaired by Professor Alexis Jay CBE, chair of the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection.

The review heard 25 hours of witness evidence both in person and via video footage, and received 100,000 words of evidence.

Criminally exploited children

Tens of thousands of children across the UK risk being trapped in criminal exploitation.

Find out more

Our research

We're producing research and pressing for change in three areas:

A fairer social security system: 1 in 3 children in the UK are growing up in poverty. This isn’t right. The government have the tools to lift children out of poverty. They can do this by increasing benefit levels to cover the essentials, removing harmful benefit rules like the two-child limit, and addressing barriers that prevent parents from working.
Help us tackle child poverty

Help for families when they need it: Families need support before problems spiral out of control. This keeps families together to provide a loving home for children. Early help spending has been cut in half since 2010, and we’re seeing more children removed from their families into care.
Early help for children and families

A more supportive care system: Children and young people in care have traumatic histories and other kinds of complex needs. High-quality care and support can help them to thrive. When they leave care, continuity of support can help them make the tricky transition to adulthood, helping them to go on to lead fulfilling lives.
Children's social care

Explore our library of policy reports and recommendations

Our reports will help you to drive change for children and families

Policy reports

Public campaigns

We also join forces with our supporters to drive change. Our petitions have helped change laws around the UK to improve the lives of children and young people. Visit our campaigns section to see why our campaigns matter, read about our successes, or add your name.

Abolishing the Benefit Cap and raising the Child Element by £15 a week would take nearly 320,000 children out of poverty. At £4 billion a year, it is a bold yet realistic reform that is eminently affordable

All Worked Out 2023

We also write regular blogs on the latest news in government policy and the impacts on children and young people. Visit our blogs section to see the latest.

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