A report by England's Children's Commissioner estimates that thousands of babies and children under one as living at risk in households where there is a 'toxic trio' of drug or alcohol addiction, domestic violence and mental-ill health,
The report, A Crying Shame, highlights the acute vulnerability of babies and young children who are entirely reliant on their parents, unable to speak and do not attend education services where they might interact with people outside of the family. As a result, they risk becoming invisible to professionals.
The commissioner, Anne Longfield makes a plea for greater funding to reach local authorities to ensure that adequate support and services are made available. Over the past few years severe cuts to local authority children's services have reduced service delivery, or brought an end to vital programmes that would offer help to families and children before problems escalate. Longfield comments that the Government must make greater commitment to resourcing and enabling local councils to provide these services.
At NDAS, we work closely with children and families across Northumberland, and recognise an urgent need to continue providing support for individuals, parents and children. Over the past few years, funding cuts have severely impacted the charity sector, making continuation of vital partnership working and programme delivery restricted. With limited funding available to local authorities, the pressure on third sector services is increasing.
Whilst NDAS appreciate acknowledgement of the severity and urgency of the situation, we urge the Government to respond to the critical nature of the issues at hand by investing in the services that The Domestic Abuse Bill pledges to support.
Read more about NDAS' ongoing work with children on our Children and Young People Service page and about our Parent's and Children Programme C.A.R.E. to find lout more about our work across the county.