Action for Children
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.
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.
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.
Much is made of the importance of positive male role models for young men. This is particularly a source of concern when
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.