Action for Children

Prime Minister, Don't Hesitate on Children's Life Chances

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 20.05.2016 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

In January, David Cameron spoke about children's early years and the role of parents, calling it "the most important job we'll ever have". He took some flak for suggesting that parents deserve more support than we currently give them, but he was right. Focusing the Government's passion for improving life chances into a national programme to improve our children's development should be an open goal for the Prime Minister. I don't want him to hesitate and fluff his chance.

Improving Outcomes for Young People - We're Spending Too Much on Symptoms Rather Than Causes

Ewan King | Posted 08.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Ewan King

It's a very challenging problem we face: how do we significantly reduce our spending on crisis care and acute treatment and start investing in tackling the problems that emerge early in children's lives. It will take brave decisions by leaders and commissioners to move in this direction. But we have to start doing it so that children and young people start experiencing the quality outcomes that we as a society should be able to provide for them.

Charities in Our Society

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 07.04.2016 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

In a perfect world, we wouldn't need charities. I firmly believe that charities should aim to solve the problem they were set up to solve and then cease to exist. But until that happens I also firmly believe that charities have a hugely important role to play in our society.

Hundreds of Children at Risk of Homelessness in One Year

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 18.03.2016 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

I've been fortunate enough to never have to experience the fear of not knowing where I am going to sleep each night, I had a safe, secure and loving childhood and more importantly somewhere that I could always call home. Unfortunately, today, not every child can say the same.

Why Consistent Carers Are More Important Than Male Role Models For Boys

The Huffington Post UK | Jennifer Barton | Posted 16.02.2016 | UK Lifestyle

Much is made of the importance of positive male role models for young men. This is particularly a source of concern when looking at vulnerable you...

Parents Fear Their Children Will Not Get a Job

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 15.02.2016 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Action for Children surveyed over 2,000 parents and found that one in four don't think that their kids will progress into the job that they want due to a lack of skills and qualifications. With young people having more opportunities than ever to gain skills and qualifications to fulfil their goals, I was shocked to hear this.

Do Profits Matter When Providing a Happy, Stable Home for a Child in Care?

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 13.01.2016 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

This week marks the latest campaign highlighting the need for more foster carers to come forward to provide supportive and loving homes to the thousands of children in the UK who have often experienced the worst in life.

Unplug and Play

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 06.01.2016 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Every parent knows that hectic schedules juggling work, school, after school sports and playdates can limit quality family time. Even when we do have free time at home, with so much centred on our smart phones, televisions and tablets, parents and children can easily pass like ships in the night.

A Merry Christmas Will Be Had by All!

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 23.12.2015 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

The families I spoke to were far from gloomy, however: they told me that with a disabled child, Christmas is sometimes different, but that doesn't mean it can't be loads of fun.

Vulnerable Young People Paying the Price of Financial Skills Gap

Kate Mulley | Posted 28.10.2015 | UK
Kate Mulley

For many young people managing money can be confusing but many of us are lucky enough to have the safety net of friends and family to help us get to grips with the challenges. For vulnerable young people, who may face difficult family relationships, are in and out of care or have nowhere permanent to live, not having basic budgeting skills can leave them "just coping" to get by.

Thousands of Foster Children Move Home Several Times a Year

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 20.09.2015 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

The keys to our success are our amazing foster carers. They do a fantastic job providing the love, care and support needed by children and young people who have too often had a very tough life. The stability those foster carers provide can make a huge difference to the futures of the children they support, in so many ways: in education, health, career, family life.

Young People Who Need the Most Help With Money Are Getting the Least

Kate Mulley | Posted 15.07.2015 | UK
Kate Mulley

Young people armed with budgeting skills and the knowledge necessary to manage money have a greater chance of finding and holding down a job. We know that people who are in control of their lives and finances are more resilient, more able to find and keep a job, and more likely to create a stable home.

Child Neglect: A Surge in Public Opinion

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 24.06.2015 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Child neglect has been staring us in the face for too long. Headlines relate the tragic stories of children who grow up shockingly deprived and, in extreme cases, die because of neglect. These children not only lack basic essentials like nutritious food and adequate clothing, they also lack the love, support and warmth that every youngster needs to thrive.

Put Children and Young People at the Heart of Policy-Making

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 15.06.2015 | UK Politics
Sir Tony Hawkhead

The Government needs to put children and young people at the heart of its policy-making and consider how it is going to meet all of their needs. Giving all young people a fair chance to achieve their potential means recognising that some will need more help than others.

Is it Acceptable to Have More Than a Million Children Suffering From Neglect in the UK?

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 10.05.2015 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Tens of thousands of social workers throughout the UK devote their lives to helping children out of desperate and abusive situations. To get to the root of what could help more families, we asked these professionals about the pressures they face.

Savile: Celebrity Scandal Should Not Overshadow Abuse Victims' Pain

Deanna Neilson | Posted 27.04.2015 | UK
Deanna Neilson

With hope, the Government's publication of the Savile reports will emphasise the importance - to children, adults working with children and those who may have suffered abuse in the past - of both listening and speaking out. No one should face the terrors of abuse alone.

Online bullying: We Must also Consider Children who Bully Others

Deanna Neilson | Posted 11.04.2015 | UK Tech
Deanna Neilson

The best source of help for children in these situations is usually their parents. Whether your child is being bullied or bullying others, it's important to know what's going on in their lives you so can help address the issue and any potentially larger problems behind it.

What Will You Do With the Extra Hour We Gain?

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 24.12.2014 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Parents have told us they're planning on having a lie in. But I'm sorry to have to tell you parents that the lie-in is not an option as your children want to use this extra hour by having fun! That is why today Action for Children is urging you to say no to the boring snooze-in and instead to make the most of your extra hour by having fun with the children...

The State Should Be a Parent Who Doesn't Turn Its Back on Young People

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 13.12.2014 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Childhood is short. And maybe like me, you remember longing to be grown up because of the freedom and adventure we perceived adulthood brings. But for some of our most vulnerable young people, adulthood is thrust upon them too soon.

Be the Voice for Abused Children

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 01.12.2014 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Doubt and fear of getting it wrong must play on people's minds even if they are worried. Often there are no obvious, physical signs of neglect. But if a child you know shows signs of not being fed or clothed properly, is missing school a lot or is left unsupervised and alone inappropriately for their age, we urge people to alert the professionals. I remember speaking to Claire [not her real name], one of our many fantastic foster carers. She has been looking after a 15-year-old boy who came into her care about two years ago, having suffered years of neglect. She spoke of how he looked like an 'eight-year-old' because he had been so badly underfed...

Government Must Act Now to Improve Our Children's Future

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 10.11.2014 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Millions of children face a bleak future, neglected, homeless and living in poverty because help isn't getting to them and their families soon enough. Spending time and money on preventing a problem early on can avoid greater cost, effort and future harm.

Our Country's Children Need You

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 08.11.2014 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Widespread sibling separation is actually happening on our doorsteps. That is why I am asking you to help us build a team of willing and dedicated foster carers who can open up their homes to brothers and sisters and help us to sustain the most important relationships children can have.

Child Protection: Listening to Children and Professionals

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 04.11.2014 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Every day, we work with vulnerable children, many of whom have experienced or are at risk of child sexual exploitation. This horrific abuse has affected a number of children supported by our services, whether related to risks to those in residential or foster care, or to young parents receiving our help. Awareness must be raised and professionals, children, and their carers must be educated about the risks around exploitation, as well as ways to guard against it.

Child Neglect Can Be Stopped in Its Tracks: The Right Information Will Help Reach Children Early

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 21.10.2014 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Children who may be suffering or who are at greater risk of neglect, but whose circumstances do not reach an authority's threshold to receive social care support, are less likely to get the help that they need. Instead, their situations can be allowed to deteriorate to become even more desperate or dangerous. It is a tragedy that due to a lack of gathering the right information, children whose lives could be improved are needlessly put at further risk. Child neglect can be stopped in its tracks.

Severely Neglected Children Will No Longer Suffer in Silence

Sir Tony Hawkhead | Posted 03.08.2014 | UK
Sir Tony Hawkhead

Emotional neglect is a clearly defined form of child abuse, with studies throughout the world evidencing its detrimental impact. As Robert Buckland recently said in New Humanist magazine, this law change is about tackling 'the systematic terrorising of children by parents who make their lives a living hell'.