An updated study on childhood vulnerability has been published by the Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, and it makes for sobering reading.

According to the Vulnerability Report 2018, a conservatively estimated 2.1 million children in England – one in six – are now living in families with substantial complex needs leading to vulnerability and risks that could affect their lives, wellbeing and life chances.

Vulnerable children in our society must be recognised

Mat Derbyshire, a family and children law solicitor at Tallents Solicitors comments:

“This updated report opens society’s eyes to the challenges before us in recognising what must be done to support the vulnerable children and their families living amongst us. It can help us understand what is needed to help them and give them the best chance in life possible.”

The Report goes on to highlight a ‘toxic trio’ of factors within a family which have a damaging effect on the wellbeing of children:

- Domestic violence and abuse within the household
- Parental drug or alcohol misuse
- Parental mental health issues

It’s conservatively estimated that 2.1 million children in six - are living with an adult facing at least one of these three issues but the true figure may be even higher than this. One thing is certain that there are many children facing multiple challenges and/or threats to their wellbeing by being exposed to an overlap of these ‘toxic’ factors.

Families with complex needs should receive structured support

The Report also states that 85% of all current local authority spending on children’s services is spent on those deemed ‘in need’, with around £4 billion per year being spent on 73,000 children in care. But sadly, it’s estimated that an extra 1.6 million children with complex family needs are deemed ‘invisible’ and therefore are not receiving any structured support for their additional needs.

Mat continues:

“Children are amongst the most vulnerable living in our society and we are duty bound to protect them to the best of our ability. Sometimes parents can’t do that by themselves and that’s where the experienced and sympathetic legal experts at Tallents Solicitors can help with support and objective advice from beyond the family.
 
“We will always have the child’s best interests at heart, with a strong focus on the child’s emotional well-being as well as what support is right for them.
 
“From our three offices in Mansfield, Southwell and Newark, our Children Law specialists are available to help ensure the safety and well-being of the children in your family. You can call us to make an appointment to discuss your individual family’s needs or you are welcome to visit our free family law clinic held every week at our offices in Southwell.
 
“Our Family Law and Children Law team are available from 5pm every Tuesday at our offices at 2 Westgate in Southwell. Family law clinic initial meetings do not require an appointment and anyone with a family or children law issue is welcome to attend.
 
“ By putting the welfare of the children first, we can ensure their safety, well-being and right to grow up to achieve their own ambitions and fulfil their potential.”

Mat Derbyshire, Children and Family law solicitor