150+ organisations, and counting, are calling on the Government to put children at the heart of the recovery process.
Their statement to the Prime Minister is detailed below, followed by a full list of the 150+ signatories. The statement is published on Tuesday, 30th June.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been widespread, affecting the lives of every baby, child and young person in the country. This generation of children face unprecedented threats to their childhoods and life chances. They deserve an unprecedented response.
We call on the Prime Minister to announce that children will join health and the economy as the three pillars of the government’s coronavirus response.
Even before the onset of the crisis, child poverty was rising, school budgets were under pressure, waiting lists for mental health services were unacceptably long, and services supporting families and protecting children from abuse and neglect were at breaking point, stretched by rising need and reduced government funding.
Now, they are also a generation over which COVID-19 threatens to cast its shadow for years to come. Our children are in an eerie world, full of uncertainty. They do not know when they can go back to school. They worry about when they can see friends and family. They are anxious about family finances.
We know this uncertainty and worry will lead to anxiety and mental health problems. We know closed schools will damage the educational attainment and life chances of children – the poorest, the most. We know Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities will be hit the hardest. We know there is no certainty about when the crisis will end and when we can see loved ones again. We know there is more financial hardship to come.
We are calling on the Government to embrace a new vision of childhood to support children, young people and their families to recover from the impact of COVID-19. The voices of children, young people and families must be at the heart of the recovery and rebuild process, and there must be renewed investment in the services and workforce that they rely on.
The Budget should be the start of a rescue, recovery and rebuild plan designed to prioritise, support and enable our children to thrive. We need an ambitious, radical plan that will be transformational for the generation of children growing up in today’s modern Britain.
That will mean action and investment across Whitehall and in town halls, including: funding for early help services and public health; supporting innovation and integrated working, particularly with charities; dedicated financial support for children; support for early years settings and schools so attainment gains are protected; and unprecedented investment in children’s mental health. This must be accompanied by a commitment to protect children facing additional challenges, like those with disabilities, asylum seekers, abuse victims and those from minority communities.
We will continue to play our part. In the weeks ahead, many of us will share with ministers and officials the key elements needed for such a recovery plan.
The government, understandably, has so far focused on the immediate health and economic consequences.
It’s now time for the nation to put a strong, protective arm around its children, to stop childhoods being disrupted and life chances being derailed.
LIST OF SIGNATORIES
The Statement was coordinated by Action for Children, Barnardo’s, National Children’s Bureau, NSPCC and The Children’s Society.
FULL LIST OF SIGNATORIES:
4in10: London Child Poverty Network
Achievement for All
Action for Children
Alström Syndrome UK
Ambitious about Autism
Anna Freud Centre
Association of Mental Health Providers
Association of Play Industries’
Association of Primary Mental Health Work and Training CAMHS
Association of School and College Leaders
ATD Fourth World
Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile
Batten Disease Family Association
Body & Soul
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Centre for Research in Early Childhood
Chailey Heritage Foundation
Child Poverty Action Group
Child Protection in Education
Childhood Bereavement Network
Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition
Children North East
Children’s Rights Alliance for England
Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies
Early Years Alliance
Elevate Startup CIC
Escape Intervention Services
Fair For You
Family Rights Group
First 1001 Days Movement
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities
Fragile X Society
Freedom from Torture
Include Me Too
Independent Children's Homes Association
Jubilee Debt Campaign
Just for Kids Law
Leap Confronting Conflict
Mental Health First Aid England
Montessori St. Nicholas
National Children's Bureau
National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)
National Development Team for Inclusion
National Family Mediation
National Youth Advocacy Service
One Education Ltd.
Partnership for Children
Partnership for Young London
Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity;
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
Save the Children
Scottish Out of School Care Network
SEND Community Alliance
Social Workers Union
Special Needs Jungle
Spinal Muscular Atrophy UK
St. Matthew's Project
Standing Committee for Youth Justice
Step Up To Serve / #iwill
Sue Pattison Consulting
Swings & Smiles
Team Mental Health
The Association of Child Psychotherapists
The British Academy of Childhood Disability
The British Psychological Society
The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust
The Childhood Trust
The Children's Society
The Children's Trust
The Dorset Children's Foundation
The Equality Trust
The Fawcett Society
The Fostering Network
The Health Conditions in School Alliance
The Matthew Elvidge Trust
The Mighty Creatives
The Mulberry Bush
The Sleep Charity
The Sleep Council
Together for Short Lives
Triple P UK
Youth Practitioners' Association