Read our latest parliamentary briefings highlighting issues affecting children, young people, parents and carers we support.

These inform national decision makers to achieve better outcomes for every child, no matter who they are or what they have been through.

young boy with one arm

Health & Care Bill: Second Reading [HoC] - July 2021

Children growing up in England today face some of the worst health outcomes in Europe. The Health & Care Bill is a unique opportunity to tackle health inequalities for children and young people and improve integrated health & social care services for all. We believe the Bill does not address the needs of children and we are calling for the Bill to undergo a Child Impact Assessment to ensure it is fit for purpose in delivering the joined up, holistic care and support services so many of our children desperately need.

Barnardo's briefing - Health & Care Bill [HoC]

young boy with one arm

Opposition Day Debate: Investing in Children and Young People - June 2021

At Barnardo’s we believe that the pandemic must be a catalyst for real change for children and families, going beyond the school gates to ensure families can access the right support at the right time – enabling children to thrive at home and in school. To do this, children need to be at the centre of the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, supported by a cabinet minister for children and a cross-government strategy. 

Opposition Day Debate - Investing in Children and Young People

IKEA Care Leaver report banner

No place like home: improving outcomes for young people leaving care - May 2021

The experiences of young people leaving the care system for our No Place Like Home report, funded by IKEA, paint a grim picture of mouldy housing and shared accommodation where there is antisocial behaviour and drug and alcohol problems. 

Barnardo's briefing - No Place Like Home

Boy with baseball shirt and blue bag

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill: Committee Stage, Criminal Exploitation [HoC] - May 2021

To better protect children from criminal exploitation we need to focus our response on safeguarding, rather than criminalisation. Alongside other organisations, Barnardo’s is calling for this Bill to be amended to introduce a statutory definition of ‘criminal exploitation’.

Barnardo's briefing - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill [HoC] - criminal exploitation

Silhouette of young girl with plaits in front of a window

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill: Committee Stage, Serious Violence Duty [HoC] - May 2021

To better protect children from criminal exploitation we need to focus our response on safeguarding, rather than criminalisation. Barnardo's is calling for this Bill to be amended to strengthen the duty on authorities to plan, prevent and reduce serious violence.

Barnardo's briefing - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill [HoC] - serious violence duty

Parents and young child sitting at dining table

Debate on the Humble Address - May 2021

Barnardo’s welcomes a number of key proposals in the Queen’s Speech, including commitments on supporting families with young children, educational ‘catch up’, integrating health and social care, improving support for victims, and making the internet safer for children.

Barnardo's briefing - Humble Address [HoC]

Young girl laying on bed and looking at a phone

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill: Second Reading, [HoC] - March 2021

To better protect children from criminal exploitation we need to focus our response on safeguarding, rather than criminalisation. Barnardo’s is calling for this Bill to be amended to introduce a statutory definition of ‘criminal exploitation’. Alongside ensuring the multi-agency approach to tackling serious violence includes interdependent partnership working with local agencies, charities and the private sector and long-term investment. 

Barnardo's briefing - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill [HoC]

Hands holding a mobile phone

Domestic Abuse Bill: Committee Stage [HoL] - Amendments 176 & 177

As it stands the Domestic Abuse Bill risks creating a two-tier system with adult and child victims living in refuges getting support services but the majority of victims who remain at home will not. Barnardo’s, alongside other organisations, are calling for the Domestic Abuse Bill to be strengthened by including a duty on all relevant public authorities to commission specialist domestic abuse services for all persons affected by domestic abuse.

Joint briefing - Domestic Abuse Bill, Committee Stage [HoL]

Hands holding a mobile phone

Domestic Abuse Bill: Second Reading [HoL] - 5 January 2021

As it stands the Domestic Abuse Bill risks creating a two-tier system with adult and child victims living in refuges getting support services but the majority of victims who remain at home will not. Barnardo’s, alongside other organisations, are calling for the Domestic Abuse Bill to be strengthened by including a statutory duty on all relevant public authorities to commission specialist domestic abuse services for all persons affected by domestic abuse.

Joint briefing - Domestic Abuse Bill, Second Reading [HoL]

Hands holding a mobile phone

Briefing on the case for introducing a Kickstart ‘Premium’ to the Kickstart Scheme – October 2020

We welcome the Govenrment’s Kickstart Scheme to support young people into employment. However, often young people furthest away from accessing employment need more specialist support than their peers. We are calling on the Government to introduce a Kickstart ‘Premium’ to ensure disadvantaged young people receive the specialist wrap around support they need to benefit from the Kickstart Programme.

The case for a Kickstart ‘Premium’: ensuring the most disadvantaged young people can benefit from the Government’s Kickstart Scheme

Hands holding a mobile phone

Briefing for Education Select Committee sessions with the Education Secretary – 16 September 2020

To ensure that children and young people are able to realise their potential whilst we continue to live with COVID-19, we must make sure they are able to learn and access support by tackling digital exclusion and supporting their mental health.

Briefing for the Education Select Committee

Teenage girl standing outside

Briefing for Women & Equalities Select Committee on the unequal impact of Covid-19 on BAME people - 15 July 2020

Covid-19 has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities and has disproportionately harmed children and young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. BAME children and young people are facing multiple and overlapping challenges including with mental health and wellbeing, increasing caring responsibilities and greater likelihood of bereavement.

Briefing for Women & Equalities Select Committee on the unequal impact of Covid-19 on BAME people (PDF)

Young girl in blue and white striped t shirt

Briefing for the Home Affairs Select Committee – 15 July 2020

During lockdown children and young people have continued to be exposed to harm whether at home, in the community or online. With a long summer, many parents returning to work, increasing levels of youth unemployed, combined with a looming recession, we are concerned that children are likely to go unrecognised and unsupported – remaining hidden.

Briefing for the Home Affairs Select Committee: The work of the Home Secretary (PDF)

Young boy with curly hair wearing a green polo short sat on the arm of a chair

Briefing for MPs & Peers: Children’s mental health and Covid-19 - 13 July 2020

Barnardo’s new report, Mental Health and Covid-19: In Our Own Words, was co-produced with young people who carried out their own research with nearly 150 young people. The report explores children and young people’s experiences of lockdown and makes a number of recommendations about the changes needed to ensure the right mental health and wellbeing support is available in the months and years to come.

Briefing for MPs & Peers: Children’s mental health and Covid-19 (PDF)

Young girl sitting at dining table

Briefing on Child Sexual Abuse - 10 July 2020

The impact of child sexual abuse on victims can be devastating and can last a lifetime. Before the pandemic, at least one-in-six 11-17 year-olds had experienced some form of sexual abuse. Barnardo’s current TV advert demonstrates how sexual grooming and abuse feels from the child’s perspective, using computer-generated komodo dragons to depict perpetrators.

Briefing on Child Sexual Abuse (PDF)

parliamentary-briefing-child-sexual-abuse.pdf

Young girl looking into camera

Briefing for Debate on the Financial Statement  – 8 July 2020

The Government’s agenda for ‘building back better’ from Covid-19 should ensure the most vulnerable and disadvantaged benefit from the recovery. In order to achieve the ambition to ‘level up’ the UK, the Government should develop a ‘new deal’ for children and young people prioritising urgent investment in mental health and wellbeing support, funding for children and young people’s services including early intervention and support for vulnerable young people as part of the ‘Opportunity Guarantee’.

Briefing for Debate on the Financial Statement (PDF)

young boy standing by a window

Domestic Abuse Bill: Remaining Stages Briefing – 6 July 2020

We welcome the inclusions of children as victims of domestic abuse in the Bill. However, that does not ensure that all child victims will receive the vital support they need to recover. We are calling for a statutory duty on relevant public authorities to commission support for all persons affected by domestic abuse – including children.

Briefing for the Domestic Abuse Bill: Remaining Stages [HoC] (PDF)

Woman and girl sat a table having a cup of tea

Backbench Business Debate: The Impact of Covid-19 on BAME Communities - 17 June 2020

Covid-19 has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities and has disproportionately harmed Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. BAME children and young people are facing multiple and overlapping challenges including bereavement, increased caring responsibilities, and rising mental health needs.

Briefing for the House of Commons Backbench Business Debate on Covid-19 and BAME communities (PDF)

Close up of young boys face looking pensive

Motion: Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 - 10 June 2020

These temporary changes have raised concerns that the legal framework for children could be at risk, as well as contribute to further discrepancies in the care received by children depending on where they live. We are calling on the Government to take to ensure that children’s entitlement to vital support is not at risk.

Briefing on the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (PDF)

Boy sitting in hallway looking sad

Briefing for the Public Bill Committee: Domestic Abuse Bill – statutory duty amendment – 4 June 2020

As it stands the Domestic Abuse Bill risks creating a two-tier system with adult and child victims living in refuges getting support services but the majority of victims who remain in the family home will not receive support. Barnardo’s, alongside other charities and organisations, are calling for the Domestic Abuse Bill to be amendment to include a statutory duty on all relevant public authorities to commission specialist domestic abuse services for all persons affected by domestic abuse.

Joint briefing - Domestic Abuse Bill Committee Stage [HoC] - statutory duty amendment (PDF)

Boy sitting in hallway looking sad

Briefing for the Public Bill Committee: Domestic Abuse Bill – impact of domestic abuse on children - 4 June 2020

Domestic abuse can have a devastating impact on children’s lives and futures. We are calling for the Domestic Abuse Bill to be strengthened to take into account the effect on children by amending the statutory definition and by ensuring support for all children no matter where they live, including young people in abusive relationships.

Briefing for the Public Bill Committee: Domestic Abuse Bill – children and domestic abuse [HoC]

young girl

Briefing for the Education Select Committee - 27 May 2020

Covid-19 has exposed the nation’s children to trauma, adversity and loss. It has caused significant harm to vulnerable children and young people, many of whom are isolated in unsafe homes away from the supportive environment of school. As schools reopen, disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people will need additional support, not only with their education but also with mental health and wellbeing.

Briefing for the Education Select Committee (PDF)

Girl in school uniform resting head on her hand while looking into the distance

Parliamentary Briefing - Time for a Clean Slate: Mental Health at the Heart of Education - 25 May 2020

Our new report calls on the Government to support schools to prioritise pupil and staff wellbeing and afford schools flexibility with the curriculum as children return. It also calls on the Government to seize this opportunity to bring about a sea change in the education system - to prioritise child welfare and wellbeing, so that it is on a par with academic achievement.

Parliamentary Briefing — Time for a Clean Slate: Mental Health at the Heart of Education (PDF)

Young girl resting on a doorway

Briefing for House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee - 19 May 2020

In these times of immense and growing hardship, our services are needed by vulnerable children and families more than ever. Charities like Barnardo’s are working hard to adapt services so they can continue to support those who need them most remotely – but we need more support from the Government to do this.

Briefing for House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee (PDF)

Barnardo's charity worker volunteering in a shop

Joint briefing on children’s services funding and spending – 18 May 2020

Analysis by the leading children’s charities highlights the financial and demand challenges that local authorities faced before the onset of Covid-19, as Government funding for children’s services has reduced by £2.2billon over the last decade.

Joint briefing on children’s services funding and spending

Boy sat on bench using his phone

Home Affairs Select Committee Session on Online Harms – 13 May 2020

Barnardo’s is concerned about a ‘perfect storm’ of children and  abusers spending more time online, combined with a shortage of content moderators, leading to greater exposure of harmful content. The Online Harms Bill should be brought to Parliament without delay.

Briefing for the Home Affair Select Committee Session on Online Harms

Teenage girl smiling in a kitchen with a woman smiling and standing behind her

Debate on the challenges facing the charitable and voluntary sector during the Covid-19 pandemic - 30 April 2020

We are living in extraordinary times. Covid-19 has wiped out overnight potentially billions from the charity sector – closing stores, pausing fundraising, losing income. Charities are the glue that holds society together. The Government should commit to reviewing the £750m support package for charities to ensure charities have the funds to adjust and meet the needs of those who rely on them.

Briefing for the House of Lords debate on the challenges facing the charitable and voluntary sector during the Covid-19 pandemic

A young girl sitting on the floor of her bedroom holding a mobile phone

DCMS Sub-Committee Session with Social Media Companies - 30 April 2020

The risks to children online are extremely serious and growing. Since the lockdown, 37% of Barnardo’s frontline staff said children and families are concerned about spending more time online. In the absence of legislation, tech companies must ensure children are protected online.

Briefing for the DCMS Select Committee Session with Social Media Companies

Boy sitting on stairs

Home Affairs Select Committee Session with the Home Secretary – 29 April 2020

45% of Barnardo’s practitioners have seen a decrease in referrals due to services having less contact with families. With vulnerable children isolated in unsafe homes and cut off from school and other services, there is a greater risk of harm from domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and online harms.

Briefing for the Home Affairs Select Committee Session with the Home Secretary (PDF)

Young siblings looking sad sitting on a sofa

Education Select Committee Session with the Education Secretary - 29 April 2020

The pandemic and necessary lockdown are compounding the challenges facing vulnerable children and families — with children isolated in unsafe homes and cut off from school and other services families facing emotional and financial pressure, and local authorities relaxing statutory duties. We are concerned that vulnerable children may go unrecognised and unsupported.

Briefing for the Education Select Committee Session with the Education Secretary (PDF)

Child hiding among cushions on a sofa

Domestic Abuse Bill: 2nd Reading [HoC] – 28 April 2020

Barnardo’s welcomes the Domestic Abuse Bill, which will raise awareness of this terrible crime, and has the potential to improve support for people in abusive relationships and their children. However, in order for the Bill to achieve its aims, we believe it must be amended to place a duty on public authorities to support all victims and their children - whether they live in refuges OR in the family home. 

Briefing for the Domestic Abuse Bill: 2nd Reading [HoC] (PDF)

Disabled young person smiling

DCMS Select Committee Session with the Culture Secretary – 22 April 2020

The Government’s package of support for charities is a welcome start but our services are needed now more than ever. As Government rolls out devices and routers to disadvantaged children, we need to ensure ‘hidden’ groups of children are not left behind, as well as ensuring that children online are protected from online harms.

Briefing for the DCMS Select Committee session with Oliver Dowden MP, Secretary of State for DCMS (PDF)

Young boy in front of a brick wall

Education Select Committee Session with the Children’s Minister – 22 April 2020

The pandemic and necessary lockdown are compounding the challenges facing vulnerable children and families – poverty, safeguarding, digital poverty, & mental health. With Government interventions focused on children with a social worker, we are concerned that ‘hidden’ groups of vulnerable children will go unrecognised and unsupported.

Briefing for the Education Select Committee session with Vicky Ford MP, Minister for Children and Families (PDF)

The word 'covid-19' being spelt out with white pills on a gray background by the hand of a child

The impact of Covid-19 on charities – 31 March 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is a threat to the existence of charities and the third sector. In times of crisis charities are key. The charity sector urgently needs support from the Government.

DCMS select committee - inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on charities (PDF)

Young girl - coronavirus appeal

Debate on the Coronavirus Bill – 23 March 2020

As the Covid-19 pandemic transforms our society, as always the most vulnerable are most at risk. We are concerned that children with ‘hidden’ vulnerabilities are at risk of failing through the net and that periods of isolation will heighten the effects of neglect, abuse, domestic abuse and online harms. During this period Government needs to ensure that vulnerable children and their families receive the support they need.

House of Commons: Coronavirus Bill: all stages (PDF)

Two young girls holding on to each other

Lords Question on the care system and adoption - 28 January 2020

The number of children entering the care system continues to rise. Meanwhile, the number of children being placed for adoption is continuing to fall. In their review of the care system the Government needs to take this once in a generation opportunity to look holistically at how we can best support vulnerable children and set a new direction, so local authorities are able to prioritise early intervention and plan for the delivery of high-quality care.

House of Lords Question on the care system and adoption (PDF)

Young boy looking bored, leaning on a table

Lords Question on improving support for excluded children - 27 January 2020

School exclusions have been increasing at an alarming rate - affecting some of the most vulnerable groups of children. To improve support for excluded children the Government should conduct a full review of the use of part-time provision for those who are excluded from school and ensure local authorities have sufficient capacity to deliver on their legal obligation to provide full-time education for excluded children.

House of Lords Question on improving support for excluded children (PDF)

Young boy in red polo shirt standing in a living room and facing forward

Debate on the Queen’s Speech – 14 January 2020

Children should be a top priority for the new Government’s domestic agenda. Key priorities should include introducing the Domestic Abuse Bill, tackling online harms, improving mental health provision and reviewing the care system. Government should appoint a Cabinet Minister with named responsibility for vulnerable children including developing a cross-government strategy.

House of Commons: General debate on the Queen's Speech (PDF)

Barnardo's project worker sitting with young person on a sofa

Debate on Children’s Services – 31 October 2019 

Children services are a lifeline for children and families across England. Since 2010, there has been a reduction of funding and spending on early intervention like children’s centres. Government should address the £3.1bn funding gap in children’s services in the upcoming Spending Review in 2020. 

House of Commons: General debate on children’s services (PDF)

A young girl looking scared in a dark room with the blinds closed

Debate on Domestic Abuse Bill: Second Reading - 2 October 2019

Children are often the ‘hidden victims’ of domestic abuse. The new Bill is a chance to change that, but improving access to support. Barnardo’s briefing includes key facts, examples from our frontline services and suggestions for strengthening the legislation. 

Domestic Abuse Bill: Second Reading - Briefing for MPs (PDF)

Teenagers in a room drinking tea

Debate on youth services - 26 July 2019

Youth services provide young people with a safe space and a place to get support. However, 87% of councils have shut at least one youth centre since 2011. Government should use the Spending Review to invest £3.1billion in children’s services.

Barnardo's and The Children Society: The role and sufficiency of youth services (PDF)

A group of young people outside 10 Downing Street

Debate on knife crime policy - 27 June 2019

Knife crime and serious youth violence is on the rise and is impacting young people more than ever before. Government should promote a multi-agency public health response, focusing on early intervention and the impact of trauma.

House of Lords: Debate on knife crime policy - 2019 (PDF)

Domestic abuse

Debate on domestic abuse - 7 June 2019

Children aren’t just witnesses of domestic abuse, they are victims. Being affected by domestic abuse can affect their life chances – health, education, entering an abusive relationship. Government should use the upcoming Domestic Abuse Bill to implement statutory support for children affected by domestic abuse across England.

House of Lords: Debate on support for victims of domestic abuse - 2019 (PDF)

Children's services

Briefing on children’s services - 26 February 2019

A combination of rising demand and cuts to funding there has been a shift of spending away from early intervention – children centre, youth services – to late intervention – child protection. The Government should use the Spending Review to address the £3.1bn funding gap facing local authorities for children’s services.

Information about funding and spending on children’s services (2017/18) - 2019 (PDF)

Contact us

To organise a meeting, speak to someone about our work or to arrange a visit, contact Claire Stewart, Senior Public Affairs Officer on [email protected] or 020 8498 7644.
 
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