We are a charity created, governed and inspired by other charities. Our mission is to change the world for England’s children by harnessing the energy, ingenuity and expertise of the voluntary organisations that work on their behalf.
It is imperative that the voices of children and young people are heard loudly and clearly at such a crucial time in shaping the future of the UK, and indeed the EU.
Does the commissioner you work with make good grants? Do they make grants at all?
The Grants for Good campaign is calling on all voluntary sector organisations who deliver public services to complete our super-quick survey on grant-making by commissioners. All responses will help us build up a picture of where and how grants are being made across the country, find good practice and show commissioners who’ve got into bad grant-making habits what good grant-making looks like!
The Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers, of which Children England is a member, is calling for changes to the care system ahead of the House of Lords debate on the Children and Social Care Bill taking place tomorrow.
Overall, there is no mention of strategy – either at national or local level – for either children in care, care leavers, or those who work with them. There is no vision outlined for looked after children’s services, their purpose, resourcing or structure, and the experiences and outcomes for children that should be delivered by those services. Instead there is a focus on tying up loose ends from previous legislation and obliging local authorities to communicate more, rather than deliver more.
In Medway the children were being treated by ‘the system’ as delinquent, while the review Board saw them as normal children, with symptoms of deeper vulnerabilities. However much practitioners may try to use other paradigms to tackle offending, the justice system adopts a delinquency model of the child as young as 10 as making a moral choice to break the law that should be prosecuted and punished.
During Engage London, we hear of the risk London’s children and young people face, failing to meet increasing thresholds for support. The voluntary and community sector faces challenges managing these safeguarding risks in the face of increased levels of demand, complexity of cases, all in the context of austerity and policy change.
The Children and Social Work Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords on May 19th and is expected to have its second reading on June 14th. Children England welcomes certain provisions, such as the extension of support for all care leavers to the age of 25, and the establishment of a designated member of staff for children in care and care leavers in academy schools. However, there are other aspects of the Bill that give us cause for concern.
Children England has today joined many other concerned organisations in writing to Penny Mordaunt, Minister for the Armed Forces, to call for an end to the recruitment of under-18s to the British army. It’s a fundamental infringement of the rights of 16- and 17-year olds to expose them to the risks of war, as well as the mental health problems which can be caused or exacerbated by armed service.
Calling all voluntary organisations – please contribute: ‘Beneath the Threshold’ is a study aiming to build an informative picture of the changing realities for London’s voluntary and community sector, and this time it is focussed on safeguarding children and young people. We are keen to know about the levels of need and risk that you see among your service users; the levels of available support and training on safeguarding; and, any trends and changes that VCSE orgs are experiencing in the multi-agency context (e.g. changing thresholds, higher risk/complexity referrals).
This year we have a re-invigorated sense of purpose and urgency. We will be launching a new bold and focused strategy for Children England in coming months; and after struggling to keep momentum and capacity for our regional groups through recent years, we are committed to focus and re-energise new efforts to engage members across the whole of England. We’ll be hosting sessions and events in partnership with our Trustees; hoping to build an activist movement to put children at heart in devolution.