Forward welcomes the Lords Public Services Committee recommendations for vulnerable children

Katherine Jenkins, head of centre for addiction treatment, sets out why the Forward Trust supports the Lords Public Services Committee’s recommendations to address child vulnerability and how better is possible for children, young people and families across the UK.

In 2021-22, the Forward Trust will support 30,000 people to break the cycles of addiction and crime, to bring about and sustain positive change in their lives. We believe that rethinking how family services are designed and commissioned is an urgent priority. Addressing the impact that addiction, offending and related issues can have on children and young people is a rapidly developing priority for the Forward Trust and wider sector.

The lack of a joined-up national strategy on vulnerable children and their families is undermining the effectiveness of policies to tackle child vulnerability. Better outcomes are possible with the right support. An integrated, multidisciplinary approach will be crucial to creating positive change. This should unify a diverse range of services and professionals who can work closely together to support children and their families at critical points. Early intervention must be prioritised to enhance the chances of successful and long-lasting positive outcomes for those in need.

In supporting this inquiry, we are pleased to have facilitated the involvement of two young people who attended our Moving and Parents and Children Together (M-PACT) Programme to share their experiences:

“If I did not do M-PACT, I would not be how I am right now, to be honest. I would have bottled up all those emotions. I just would not be what I am today. M-PACT really made me happy. M-PACT also really helped me with knowing that I was not alone, because there were loads of other kids there who were going through the same thing as me.” – Leah

“M-PACT really helped me, because my mum, my gran and I had loads of bonding time. Maybe I would say ‘go to M-PACT’. You get along and you have more time together.” – Elsa

Leah and Elsa bravely shared their experiences of living with parental addiction directly to members of the select committee, who commented that their testimonies “gave them a completely different understanding of what life is like for children in these situations, how they can easily be missed by statutory services, and how important the voluntary sector is in supporting families to recover”.

Read the full blog post here.


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