Derek attended the parliamentary launch of Action for Children's landmark report into child neglect on Tuesday 24 January. He had added his name to the charity's petition, signed by over 16,000 members of the public, callling on the Government to intervene early to prevent and tackle child neglect, and he has written to Children's Minister Tim Loughton MP at the Department for Education, asking him to do more to help neglected children.
The launch of the leading children's charity review into child neglect, the first of a new annual series, has revealed that over half (51%) of social workers, and over a third of police officers (36%) feel 'powerless' to intervene in suspected areas of child neglect. Over 4000 people, including the general public, a range of professionals, and 47 local authorities, took part in the research through polling and focus groups.
The charity has also found an worrying picture of neglected children getting trapped, rather than caught, in the safety net in place to protect them. Social workers questioned felt that the point at which they could intervene in cases of child neglect was too high (42%) and for those children who did meet the level at which they could start to help, many cited a lack of resources (52%) or support services to refer families to (43%) as barriers to acting.
Derek Twigg MP said;
"I was pleased to lend my support to the Action for Children Campaign by attending the parliamentary launch of its report into child neglect. It is vital that we do more to empower the professionals working across different sectors so that they can more effectively prevent and tackle child neglect. Let us redouble our efforts to tackling this scourge on our society.
Dame Claire Tickell, Chief Executive of Action for Children, said;
"Neglect corrodes childhoods, robbing the most vulnerable children of hope, happiness and life chances. All our findings point to the stark reality that neglected children and their parents are being identified, but neither the professionals nor the public feel empowered to help or intervene, particularly at the early stages.
When it comes to child neglect, the reality is we are only tackling the tip of the iceberg, and there are many thousands out there in desperate need. We are currently missing critical opportunities to help, and putting valued professionals in an impossible position."
Action for Children is calling on the Government to;
- help local areas improve data collection about the scale of neglect and the effectiveness of services
- co-ordinate local services in order to encourage parents and the public to act early on concerns of neglect
- increase children and families' access to effective early support services
- give professionals the space and time to carry out full and proper assessments to tackle child neglect