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.
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.
“For many employers, technical ability, practical experience and so called ‘soft skills’ such as team-building, time management or lateral thinking, are just as valuable as, if not more so than, a degree.” Alice Barnard, CEO of the Edge Foundation, blogs for Children England’s #OpenToAll campaign.
As we approach 2020, the next Mayor has the opportunity to bring political will, London’s vast economic resources and co-ordinated policy making to bear on the issue of child poverty and the pressures of raising a family in the capital.
For our Parish, Borough and City Councils in Greater Manchester, powers devolved from Whitehall departments to Greater Manchester will actually mean more centralisation… The result of cuts and better collaborative work across Greater Manchester will be efficiencies where services are centralised: one youth service, one adult service and one health service for Greater Manchester. Devolution means centralisation when met with huge cuts.
What kind of an economic recovery can it really be if more children are going without their most basic needs being met?
To a cash economy up to its eyeballs in debt, and to politicians with tough value judgments ahead about how to spend public money, what our sector can do is nothing short of economic magic. If we’re smart we’ll stop selling ourselves by our value for money. If they’re smart they’ll realise that what we can do is not just a bargain, it is priceless.
Involve young properly and you’ll get all the answers you need on how to provide a better system of care for looked after children and care leavers.