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.

UK CMO commentary on screen time and social media map of reviews

Department of Health and Social Care, February 2019

This report outlines the UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) commentary on research that was done on screen-based activities and children and young people’s mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.  The report includes their advice for parents and carers, and their recommendations for other stakeholders.

Click here to view the report.



Impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health

The House of Commons Select Science and Technology Committee, January 2019

This report provides the findings of an inquiry examining whether the growing use of social media, and screens, among children is healthy or harmful.  It looks at the evidence base for such claims, and whether any new measures or controls are required.  The report highlights the benefits of social media, while also revealing the potential risks children face when accessing social media, and suggests what can be done to protect young users when they are online.

Click here to view the full report.

The next generation: how intergenerational interaction improves life chances of children and young people

United for All Ages, January 2019

This report looks at how intergenerational interaction can have benefits for children and young people who currently face a growing crisis of confidence, loneliness and anxiety, often fearful about the future, fragmented families, segregated by age, with cuts in services and financial support.  The report finds that interaction between older and younger people can help address these issues – starting at an early age with nurseries and care homes linking, through schools, colleges and universities, to mentoring and community projects.

Click here to view the full report.