Charity calls for next government to put children ‘at the heart of policy making’

The NSPCC have joined with other charities to call for the next UK government to put babies, children and young people at the heart of the policy making.

The NSPCC have said that they believe that every child, regardless of their background, their parents’ or carers’ income, or their postcode, deserves the best possible start, and support to thrive to achieve equal outcomes throughout their childhood and adolescence.

A child’s health, wellbeing and life chances are shaped by the circumstances of their birth and their early life experiences. In the UK today, around 4.2 million children are growing up in poverty, including 48% of children from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. one million children in the UK are living in extreme poverty and one in 12 parents have a child who has had to share a bed with them or a sibling because they cannot afford another bed.

One in six children aged 7-16 and one in four young people aged 17-19 are thought to have a diagnosable mental health condition and more children than ever need support from local authority children’s services because they are at risk of harm at home, online or elsewhere. In 2022, more than 80,000 children in England were looked after by local authorities – an increase of 22% over the last 10 years, and 201 children died due to known or suspected abuse and neglect. NSPCC said:

“We need commitment from the very top of the government to take decisions and prioritise spending that will create conditions where all children can thrive.

To improve children’s lives, we must improve the policy and decision-making process that impacts them. Our new report Children at the Table released today, sets out the roadmap to a better future for babies, children and young people. We invite the main political parties to commit to a personal pledge by the next Prime Minister and Chancellor to be champions for children, to put them at the heart of their next government and invest more of our national wealth in improving their lives. These recommendations, if listened to, will result in the essential changes needed to improve the lives of children and young people.”

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