Childhood vulnerability in England 2019

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Children's Commissioner
Children's Commissioner for England
Date of publication
4 July 2019
Children and Young People, Mental health services, Education and Skills
Social welfare
Material type

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The Children's Commissioner estimates that 2.3 million children are living with risk because of a vulnerable family background.

Within this group 829,000 children are ‘invisible’ (in the sense of not being known to services) and therefore not getting any support. Another 761,000 children are known to services, but their level of support is unclear. Adding these two groups together, means that there are 1.6 million children from a vulnerable family background for whom the support is either patchy or non-existent.

Just over half of these children are ‘invisible’ to services. The remaining 669,000 children, around 3 in 10 of the 2.3 million, are currently being helped through a formal, national programme of support. Some of this is through the Troubled Families programme, while the rest is through various forms of children’s social care. Around 128,000 children from a vulnerable family background are receiving the most intensive forms of statutory support, such as being in care or on a child protection plan.

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