Laura Sharman 04 July 2017

Report warns half a million children are so vulnerable they need state intervention

Millions of children are growing up in high risk or vulnerable family situations, a new report has revealed today.

New analysis from the Children’s Commissioner for England has found that half a million children are so vulnerable that the state has been forced step in.

The report also reveals that nearly 700,000 children are living in families that have vulnerabilities, while 119,000 children are homeless or living in insecure or unstable housing.

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, said: ‘It is shocking that half a million children – a number equivalent to the entire population of Manchester – need direct intervention or care from the state because they are living vulnerable lives.

‘On top of that there are many hundreds of thousands of other children growing up in potentially high-risk situations.’

However, Ms Longfield warned that the number of vulnerable children is likely to be much higher as they are not reported to services or there is 'worrying’ gaps in available data.

She said: ‘The actual numbers are likely to be much higher. The truth is nobody knows the exact number of vulnerable children. We can trace in minute detail the academic progress of a child from 4 to 18 and beyond, but when it comes to describing and assessing the scale of negative factors in a child’s life which will hamper their progress, we are floundering.’

Over the next year she will use her statutory powers to request data from local authorities and other agencies to fill in those gaps.

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