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Society supports call for action to reduce child poverty on Universal Children's Day

20 November 2017

The Society is supporting the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s (RCPCH) call for the restoration of binding national targets to reduce child poverty and the adoption of ‘child health in all policies’.

We also urge the government to invest in evidence based prevention and early intervention services.  

Every child should live in a community that is free from poverty.   The RCPCH has stated that more than one in four children in the UK lives in poverty - that’s almost four million children.  This together with food poverty, inadequate housing, worry about family and friends, exam stress and stigma all contribute to multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). 

Dr Paul Williams MP says some children have to wait for up to 44 months for an autism assessment.  The Care Quality Commission has found that ‘too many children and young people have a poor experience of care and some are simply unable to access timely and appropriate services’.  Disabled children are all too often excluded from equal worth and equal rights. 

Refugee and asylum seeking children particularly suffer from poverty and destitution.  All of these ACEs can lead to mental and physical health issues. The World Health Organisation has noted children ‘face major challenges with stigma, isolation and discrimination, as well as lack of access to health care and education facilities, in violation of their fundamental human rights’. 

The Society’s President, Nicola Gale, said:

“There is evidence that suggests large numbers of children and adolescents are seeking help for self-harm and eating disorders, anxiety, depression and sleep difficulties.  It is time therefore to invest in our children’s future.  Ring-fenced funding must be set aside to improve young people’s health outcomes.

On this Universal Children's Day, psychologists from across Europe have called for societies and policy makers to use the evidence from psychology to deliver services to improve the health and wellbeing of our children and young people.”

 

Read more from our Policy Team on young people's mental health

 

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