Children in Need review

On Monday 10th December, the Department for Education published its Children in Need review looking at how professionals who work with vulnerable children can better identify children in need, and understand the impact of their traumatic experiences.

Suzanne Jacob, Chief Executive of SafeLives said:

We welcome the Department of Education’s findings of its Children in Need review: it is clear from this initial analysis that domestic abuse is a very common factor affecting thousands of children’s safety and wellbeing. We know this can affect educational attainment, and also have long-lasting mental health consequences such as eating disorders, anxiety, sleeping issues, and the increased the risk of experiencing abuse themselves in later life.

It is vital that we provide a whole picture response to all children affected by domestic abuse – this means understanding all risks and needs of that child and providing wraparound support that involves both social workers and teachers, alongside a range of other professionals. No one agency or professional can solve this alone, and this is why information sharing and multi-agency working is so important.

We need to break down the siloed working apparent in local provision, something progressed by innovative approaches taken by Operation Encompass and our own One Front Door intervention. But much more must be done.

Our research shows that by the time a child starts primary school, at least one of their classmates will have lived with domestic abuse since birth. This problem is too vast and too serious to be solved by pockets of good work, which is why we encourage the Department of Education to be ambitious and bold with these findings, and transform our approach and understanding at a national level. We stand ready to help and support in any way we can.

Suzanne Jacob, Chief Executive of SafeLives

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