Coram calls for eight priorities for change to secure children’s rights and welfare for the next generation

Published: Saturday 20th January 2018

As flagship Brexit legislation passes its final stage in the House of Commons, Coram, the UK’s first children’s charity, has published a new report Respected and Protected: Securing a Better Future for All Children to advance the rights and welfare of children now and in the future.

Coram launches the report to coincide with the 350th birthday of its founder Thomas Coram, whose groundbreaking drive, vision and commitment started a shift in the way England protected and regarded children.

The report’s eight areas for action, which draw on Coram’s expertise across law, social work, health, education and policy, are to help ministers, civil servants, local authorities, opinion formers and policy makers take a shared view on what is needed. These are matched by a clear commitment from Coram on what the charity will contribute in each area.

The eight priorities are as follows:

  • Strengthening the legal framework for children, including full incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into UK law
  • Ensuring the voices of children are always heard on decisions that matter to them including through an 'active offer' of advocacy for children and young people, and that children and young people can be agents of change
  • Providing secure loving families for all children who need them including a national priority for the recruitment of sufficient adopters and foster carers
  • Access to justice for all children including an increase in the scale and long-term investment in open access to free legal advice for children, young people and families
  • Making routes to permanent status accessible to children and young people so that children and young people who are long term residents of the UK are able to regularise their status through timely, affordable processes
  • Sufficient adolescent and mental health support including systematic guidance for parents and carers and training for teachers and social workers so they can distinguish early signs of mental illness and are able to refer to specialist support
  • Tackling educational exclusion including requirement for a full assessment of needs on the first occasion that any child faces permanent exclusion
  • Building capacity and consistent service quality including a review of local government funding formulas to ensure that there is fair distribution of resources for children, young people and families no matter where they live

 Dr Carol Homden CBE, Chief Executive of Coram said:

Our call for change highlights some of the challenges facing children today and the improvements we want to see to ensure that children have the best possible chance in life.

 

As the first children’s charity and the birthplace of children’s social care, we are committed to developing new ways to help children thrive, and that ensuring that services and society enable them to face new challenges. We will not rest until every child is respected and protected with the safety, love, education and equality of opportunity to which they are entitled.

The report is launched as Coram marks the 350th birthday of its founder Thomas Coram, England’s first campaigner for children. Thomas Coram fought to give children the protection and care they needed, until he was granted a royal charter to establish his charity, formerly known as the Foundling Hospital, the first dedicated safe haven for them – the first corporate parent of its kind.

To mark the publication of the report and the 350th birthday of its founder, Coram has launched an online campaign for people to pledge their support for every child to be respected and protected. To find out more please visit pledge.coram.org.uk.

Read the full Respected and Protected: Securing a Better Future for All Children report.

Read the story of our founder Thomas Coram.