Coram responds to Children’s Commissioner report on Childhood Vulnerability

Published: Thursday 4th July 2019

Today, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, published the Childhood Vulnerability in England 2019 report.

The report examines the latest scale of, and trends over time in, rates of childhood vulnerability. The study estimates that 2.3 million children are living with risk because of a vulnerable family background. Within this group, it is estimated that more than a third – nearly 830,000 children – are ‘invisible’ (in the sense of not being known to services) and therefore not getting any support. The research also found that 25 % of the amount councils spend on children now goes on the 1.1% of children who need acute and specialist services.

The Children’s Commissioner has also called on the next Prime Minister to put the billions they have promised for income and corporation tax cuts towards “mending broken childhoods”.

Coram’s CEO, Dr Carol Homden, said:

“We welcome today’s report from the Children’s Commissioner. We have heard little so far from the two candidates to be our next Prime Minister on their plans for children, especially the most vulnerable whom we at Coram work to support every day. Local authorities are under acute financial pressure but again neither candidate has set out proposals to turn this around.”

“We also agree about the low quality of data on what is currently being spent on the most vulnerable – without better information we cannot be clear about what works, and we have urged the government to act to set this right. That some 830,000 children with complex needs are ‘invisible’ to services is a particular cause for concern. Government has a responsibility to provide the sector with the resources it needs, join up the dots so we understand what works and what does not, and show political leadership by placing the rights and welfare of children high up the political agenda. Right now children and young people are largely invisible in this leadership debate.”