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Two million children growing up in families where there are serious risks, says Children’s Commissioner

Million vulnerable children being let down by a system that doesn’t recognise them

A new study from the Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has revealed that over two million children in England are growing up in families where there are serious risks.

The report brings together a range of information held by various government departments, agencies and others to reveal the scale of child vulnerability in England.

The 2.1 million children growing up in families with complex needs include:

Anne Longfield, the Children's Commissioner for England, responding to the report, said:

"Over a million of the most vulnerable children in England cannot meet their own ambitions because they are being let down by a system that doesn't recognise or support them – a system that too often leaves them and their families to fend for themselves until crisis point is reached.

"Not every vulnerable child needs state intervention, but this research gives us – in stark detail – the scale of need and the challenges ahead. Meeting them will not be easy or cost-free. It will require additional resources, effectively targeted, so that we move from a system that marginalises vulnerable children to one which helps them.

"Supporting vulnerable children should be the biggest social justice challenge of our time. Every day we see the huge pressures on the family courts, schools and the care systems of failing to take long-term action. The cost to the state is ultimately greater than it should be, and the cost to those vulnerable children missing out on support can last a lifetime.

"We get the society we choose – and at the moment we are choosing to gamble with the futures of hundreds of thousands of children."

For the report, click here.