‘Getting it right’ for children and young people means getting it right for our wider society. That’s why Children’s Alliance is campaigning for children and young people to be at the heart of policy making; whether that’s at Westminster or in the communities where we all live, work and bring up our families. For too long, children and young people have been an ‘add on’ or afterthought when decisions are made. It’s now time to reverse the balance and ensure that those who will build our future society take centre stage.
What does this mean?
Our campaign is a ‘life course’ campaign, not just making short-term fixes. Making sure every department and every area of policy has the needs of children and young people at its heart means we will all thrive – regardless of our age and what our living circumstances may be. Policy focus on children and young people will have benefit in every other area of life; by investing in communities and creating societies to help them thrive will make us all healthier, happier and safer – whether we are four, fourteen, forty or eighty. We know it makes sense but does the Government?
What do we need?
A new Government Department for Children, Young People and the Family headed by a Secretary of State is our top priority. The Department would be responsible for generating their own legislative agenda, but also would carry an ‘audit role’ (similar to the traditional role of Chief Secretary to the Treasury) ensuring Secretaries of State (Cabinet Ministers) in other Departments have ensured their own policy proposals are sensitive to the needs of children, young people and families. This would apply equally to the Treasury, the Foreign Office and the Department for Trade and Industry, as well as Health and Education. For too long, ‘family policy’ has been left to local commissioning. We want the balance to be reversed so local authorities are carrying out policies which are backed by legislation – not ‘pilot schemes’ or ‘partial roll out’ that can changed at any time.
How can we achieve this?
Not overnight! This is not a quick fix solution – as nothing worthwhile ever is. But our first goal is to change the discussion around children and young people. We’ve laid the foundations of this with our comprehensive Quartet of Reports, which you can read here. The reports set out policy priorities over a range of issues and were launched at the House of Commons in September 2022. We have followed this with our ‘Eye View Series’ single issue reports. These are all designed to show law-makers at Westminster and decision-makers in our local communities there is a need for a new Department to lead a life course rather than short-term approach.
Can I Help?
Yes you can. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can act locally and influence your own community.
How do I find out more?
Our alliance members have worked together to provide four factual reports highlighting the importance of addressing the areas of mental health, physical activity and the environment for children and young people. Click below to read them and find out more.
Eye View Series Reports
Following the launch of our first four reports, we’ve been commissioned to write several Eye View Reports.
Eye view Series Reports are authoritative ‘single issue’ studies designed for everyone to learn from and understand – from politicians to professionals, locally and nationally – and of course, parents and carers.
Each report is sponsored by organisations and companies with an interest in the policy field and want to contribute to the campaign. There are three Eye View Series reports so far:
- A PRECONCEPTION CARE STRATEGY: sponsored by the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre
- A PLAN FOR PLAY: sponsored by Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)
- THE ROLE OF THE FAMILY IN EARLY YEARS EDUCATION: sponsored by Babbu
If you would like to sponsor an Eye View Series report, please contact the Children’s Alliance.