Far less than they deserve: children with learning disabilities or autism living in mental health hospitals

Children’s Commissioner, May 2019

This report finds that too many children are being admitted to secure hospitals unnecessarily – in some cases are spending months and years of their childhood in institutions rather than being treated in their communities. It warns that the current system of support for those with learning disabilities or autism is letting down some of the most vulnerable children in the country.

Click here to view the full report.

Improving children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing

Local Government Association, May 2019

The LGA’s Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Peer Learning Programme looked at how to prioritise early help and free up acute care for the most vulnerable in order to achieve change; supporting councils and their local partners to learn from each other, and from other councils across the country. Eight councils and their partners took part in two learning days and a visit to another council, gaining further knowledge and understanding on how to tackle their local issue.

Click here to view the full report.

Transitions to adulthood: the case for a cross-departmental taskforce

The Children’s Society, May 2019

One in five 16 year olds experience five or more complex issues. Their age means these young people often fall between the cracks of children’s and adults’ services and are left without support. Many face further challenges as support drops off overnight after their eighteenth birthday, making the transition into independent adulthood difficult. This report outlines steps that government departments and other agencies should take to improve transitions for young people. It recommends that the government forms a cross-departmental taskforce to look into transition planning for older teenagers as they move into adulthood, to ensure the best outcomes for vulnerable young people.

Click here to view the report.

Early access to mental health support

Children’s Commissioner, April 2019

This report looks at the amount spent on “low-level” mental health support for children in England. “Low-level” mental health services are preventative and early intervention services for treating problems like anxiety and depression or eating disorders, such as support provided by school nurses or counsellors, drop-in centres or online counselling services.  The report reveals that local areas, which included both local authorities and NHS spending, were allocated a total of £226 million for low-level mental health services in 2018/19, just over £14 per child.  The report also found large variations between geographical areas in the funding available, and where spending on services has fallen locally it has been driven by reduced spending by local authorities.

Click here to view the full report.

Keeping kids safe: improving safeguarding responses to gang violence and criminal exploitation

Children’s Commissioner for England, March 2019

This report estimates there are 27,000 children in England who identify as a gang member, only a fraction of whom are known to children’s services. It recommends that the government needs to make child criminal exploitation a national priority, and lay out clear expectations about the role of all organisations working with children – including the police, schools, children’s services and NHS bodies. There also needs to be more support from the NHS, including better mental health support for children at risk of gang membership and exclusion.

Click here to view the full report.

First 1000 days of life

Health and Social Care Committee, February 2019

This report calls on the Government to produce a long-term, cross-Government strategy for the first 1000 days of life, setting goals to reduce adverse childhood experiences, improve school readiness and reduce infant mortality and child poverty.  The report also calls for the Government’s Healthy Child Programme to be revised, improved and given greater impetus. The Committee recommends that the programme should be expanded to focus on the health of the whole family, begin before conception, deliver a greater continuity of care for children, parents and families during this period and extend visits beyond age 2½ years.

Click here to view the full report.