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World Millions of children face 'serious risk' at home

08:12  04 july  2018
08:12  04 july  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Nearly one in six children are said to be © Getty Nearly one in six children are said to be "let down by a system that doesn't recognise or support them"

More than two million children in England are growing up in families where there are serious risks, the Children's Commissioner has said.

Anne Longfield's report states the dangers include domestic violence and living with parents who are alcoholics or have substance abuse problems.

The study of childhood vulnerability estimates that 2.1 million of England's 11.8 million children, nearly one in six, are living in families with risks so serious that they need some level of help.

Of those children, there are 890,000 with parents suffering serious mental health problems and 825,000 living in homes with domestic violence.

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More than two million children in England are growing up in families where there are serious risks , the Children 's Commissioner has said. Of those children there are 890,000 with parents suffering serious mental health problems and 825,000 living in homes with domestic violence.

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And 100,000 children were found to be living in a family with the "toxic trio" - mental health problems, domestic violence, and alcohol or substance abuse.

The study has widened the number of groups of children associated with forms of vulnerability or risk from 32 to 37.

Many children across the UK are growing up with alcoholic parents© Getty Many children across the UK are growing up with alcoholic parents Ms Longfield said: "Over a million of the most vulnerable children in England cannot meet their own ambitions because they are being let down by a system that doesn't recognise or support them, a system that too often leaves them and their families to fend for themselves until a crisis point is reached.

"Not every vulnerable child needs state intervention, but this research gives us, in stark detail, the scale of need and the challenges ahead.

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"Meeting them will not be easy or cost-free.

"It will require additional resources, effectively targeted, so that we move from a system that marginalises vulnerable children to one which helps them.

"Supporting vulnerable children should be the biggest social justice challenge of our time.

"Every day we see the huge pressures on the family courts, schools and the care systems of failing to take long-term action.

"The cost to the state is ultimately greater than it should be, and the cost to those vulnerable children missing out on the support can last a lifetime.

"We get the society we choose and at the moment we are choosing to gamble with the futures of hundreds of thousands of children."

Imran Hussain, director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, said: "It's our most vulnerable children who are paying the price for the punishing central government cuts to council budgets, and being left without the early help they desperately need."

Roy Perry, vice chairman of the Local Government Association's children and young people board, said: "We want the Government to heed these increasingly urgent warnings and accept the critical need for properly funded children's services, which face a funding gap of £3billion by 2025 just to keep services running at current levels.

"We have long warned of the rising demand councils face, with an average of more than 270 children taken into care or placed on a child protection plan every single day to keep them safe from harm."

The government announced in April that new measures would be introduced to support the children of alcoholic parents.

The "lifeline" tools include faster access to mental health services and funding to identify children at risk.

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