A coalition of more than 70 child welfare organisations and experts are calling on the government to transform children’s lives in the UK with a series of pledges they hope ministers will address during the general election.
The 30 pledges include ensuring children in care are not dislocated unnecessarily from their families, removing the ‘reasonable chastisement’ common law defence so that children have the same protection from assault as adults and incorporating the Convention on the Rights of the Child into UK law.
The document, which is entitled Together For Children, is comprehensive and touches on issues faced by vulnerable children, care leavers, young offenders and families struggling with poverty and homelessness.
It is an excellent set of pledges.
The announcement was made yesterday on coalition member Article 39’s website.
In the press release, Carolyne Willow, Director of children’s rights charity Article 39, said:
“Children have no vote but what’s promised and delivered through this general election will have a massive impact on their lives, happiness and future. We want to see children and their rights at the heart of manifestos – not the odd mention here and there but a systematic strategy for making our country among the best in the world for children’s rights. Five years can make or break a childhood, so the weeks ahead really matter.”
Kathy Evans, Chief Executive of Children England, also added a statement:
“Over the thirty years since we signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, government policy affecting children has been increasingly fragmented, and departments have struggled to co-operate on a shared, holistic vision for children’s wellbeing. These pledges set out a thorough framework that all departments can use to ensure children are at the heart of policy-making.”
Coalition members include Children England, Children’s Rights Alliance for England, the National Youth Advocacy Service and the Association of Lawyers for Children.
Individual coalition members include Ian Dickson, Chair of the Conference for Care Experienced People (retired) and children’s rights campaigner, Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England 2010-2015, Brid Featherstone, Professor of Social Work, University of Huddersfield and Dr Julia Brophy, Independent Research Consultant and Principal Investigator – Family Justice.
You can see the election pledges here.
Ian Josephs said:
30 USELESS pledges that will change nothing !
I suggest the following:-
TWO “pledges” that would change everything !!
1:- Children should never be removed from parents unless those parents have committed a crime that adversely affects their children.If they have been charged with such a crime then the children should be removed and released back to their parent(s) only if those parents are found “not guilty” in a criminal court;
2:-Children in care should be allowed FREE SPEECH AND Freedom TO COMMUNICATE and Asociate. All children in care old enough to operate a mobile phone should be allowed to have one or free access to one enabling them to text parents and friends whenever they like.They should also have reasonable access to the internet..Children should be able to talk face to face to parents,friends,and other visitors about anything they choose ,to whoever happens to be there and in any language they prefer.
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Lisa Ann Joseph said:
I so agree with you sir
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[Name Withheld] said:
Thank you for sending me this unfortunately I am going to be going to court on the 2nd and 3rd and the 6th, and 7th of January because the judge is against adoption and he said that [edited] needs to be with his birth parents and not to be placed on the floor of adoption so he is now cooing over to taking it to trial so I will be firing my asking bullets to miss lier [edited]
Just two pledges that are of any worth…….re- instating Legal Aid……ending the delay of Universal Credit payments.
The entire system needs a complete overhaul and from the other 28 pledges it doesn’t look any different to what is already in practice…therefore the hell and despair will continue for parents that are unfortunate enough to have Social Services in their lives.