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 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 Sarah Murray, Public Affairs Officer on [email protected]k or 020 8498 7659 or Claire Stewart, Senior Public Affairs Officer on [email protected] or 020 8498 7644.
 
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