Have we abandoned young people?

Two reports within a very short space of time, both illustrating that we have forsaken young people.

The Children’s Commissioner for England very recently published ‘Bleak Houses’. They found that:

  • 12,000 children live in temporary accommodation
  • 90,000 children are sofa surfing
  • 585,000 children homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Local Authorities have resorted to using old office blocks, bed and breakfast accommodation and even shipping containers to house children. Shocking and intolerable.

The report can be accessed here: https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/publication/bleak-houses/

This week the Children’s Society published its latest edition of its Good Childhood Report – showing that our children are not getting a good enough childhood. They found that; “Since 2009 children and young people have become increasingly unhappy. Based on the latest figures we estimate a quarter of a million children are unhappy with their lives, with factors like friends, school and appearance all playing a role”.

You can access that report here: https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/resources-and-publications/the-good-childhood-report-2019

Whilst adults obsess about the impact that a no deal Brexit and the current political leadership may have on our lives, we are overlooking the much more profound impact the current austerity, inequality and political situation is having on children and young people. Apparently the state cannot afford to meet these need now, but all epidemiological, sociological and longitudinal data shows these issues will worsen and compound over time, costing more in the future.

I believe that society will not be able to bear the costs of hundreds of thousands of unhappy children whose basic needs are not being met as they mature. Time for us all to consider what needs to change to support everyone in our society and what our individual role in that might be.

We are only all as well as the rest of our family and community.



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