Laura Sharman 01 April 2020

Calls to mobilise an 'army of volunteers' to protect children during lockdown

The Children’s Commissioner for England has warned an ‘army’ of volunteers are needed to protect vulnerable children while schools are closed.

Anne Longfield said that many children fall through the gaps in the system, and schools are no longer able to provide a safety net due to the current lockdown.

She said it was time to ‘mobilise and redeploy’ the thousands of people already vetted to work with children such as dinner ladies, teaching assistants and sports coaches.

Ms Longfield said: ‘We need an army of these volunteers for our vulnerable kids – people who are able to help social services and schools to reach to children and families, check in on what is going on, support struggling families and make these invisible children visible again.’

She said that despite the Government keeping schools open for vulnerable children, anecdotal evidence shows that many of these children are not showing up so are being exposed to risks at home such as domestic violence, substance abuse and neglect.

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