Children’s Commissioner Calls for the Extension of Family support in Childrens Manifesto

Posted 12.09.2019

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, has published Guess How Much We Love You: A Manifesto for Children  The manifesto calls on Britain’s political parties to include a six-point plan in their election manifestos to transform the life chances for disadvantaged children and to help all of England’s 12 million children to thrive.

The manifesto sets out some of the key issues that children have told the Children’s Commissioner’s Office are affecting their lives, and reflects many of the subjects the Children’s Commissioner has been shining a light on in recent years – children growing up in chaotic families, inadequate children’s mental health services, children’s safety and children living in poor quality housing such as B&Bs, converted office blocks or shipping containers.

The Children’s Commissioner’s manifesto focuses on six key themes: supporting stronger families, providing decent places for children to live, helping children to have healthy minds, keeping children active, providing SEND support for those who need it, and creating safer streets and play areas. It also sets out some of the likely costs involved alongside the policy proposals, including the Children’s Commissioner’s argument that existing statutory services must be put on a sustainable financial footing.

The key theme around Supporting Stronger Families focussed on the Troubled Families Programme.  Stakeholder Managers have been working with Troubled Families Programmes to help more families into work alongside colleagues from the Department of Work and Pensions, Local Authorities and other key partners.

The Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longford, has highlighted the programme stating that:
The Troubled Families Programme was designed to support these families, and has had some  considerable success. But funding for Troubled Families ends entirely in March 2021 and the wider network of family support services have borne the brunt of funding pressures in local authorities.  The Children’s Commissioner wants to see family support put at the heart of children’s social care, with  an expansion of the Troubled Families Programme to 500,000 households, and an outcomes framework  built more around children. This should be delivered through an extended network of family support centres in the most deprived areas, building on existing children’s centres and extended school opening  hours; helping families not only with very young children but as their kids grow up.

You can download the full Manifesto here

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