Laura Sharman 29 September 2020

Calls for a recovery package to tackle childhood vulnerability

A comprehensive recovery package is needed to help children deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the Children’s Commissioner for England has said today.

In a new report, Anne Longfield argues action is required to help children recover from their experiences of the last six months.

It shows that 2.2 million vulnerable children were already living in risky home situations in England before the pandemic.

The report calls on the Government to introduce a pre-emptive package of welfare and housing support for families who have built up rent arrears, children to be put at the heart of planning for further lockdowns, and children’s rights and protections to be upheld.

It also calls for greater investment in local authority early help services, the Troubled Families programme and health visitors, bringing them together in local Family Hubs.

Ms Longfield said: ‘Unless the Government acts now, COVID-19 is in danger of becoming an inter-generational crisis, with the impact of the economic fall-out on parents determining the future prospects of their children. This would decimate the Government’s ability to level-up opportunity across the country in the way the Prime Minister has repeatedly promised to do.’

Cllr Judith Blake, chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: 'We are calling on the Government to use the forthcoming Spending Review to properly resource councils to enable investment in local safety nets and the universal and early help services, including mental health and wellbeing services, that children, young people and their families will need to support them through the short and long-term impacts of the pandemic.'

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