Children's Minister responds to NSPCC data on the prevalence of child abuse and announces funding for the charity and its helplines.
Children’s Minister, Tim Loughton, is today announcing that the NSPCC will be awarded a grant worth £11.2 million over the period 2011-2015 for continued investment in Childline and the NSPCC Helpline.
The NSPCC Helpline is the only UK service offering anonymous and free access to trained child protection staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It provides specialist support, advice, counselling and information for anyone with concerns about a child who is either being abused or is at risk of being abused. It is also currently the only voluntary charity sector organisation named as an ‘authorised person’ under the 1989 Children Act section 31 and is hence authorised to initiate proceedings to protect children.
The grant will enable the NSPCC to help even more children who ask them for advice and support, and act to protect those at risk of harm through developing capacity in their Childline and NSPCC Helpline services. This means that the NSPCC can offer children and young people counselling by voice, online and by text and ensure that adults with concerns about a child have someone to turn to 24 hours a day.
Speaking at the NSPCC Prevalence of Child Maltreatment and Victimisation preview event, Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said:
The initial findings of the NSPCC’s Maltreatment and Victimisation report are particularly poignant and demonstrate the impact public awareness and action has had in cutting levels of abuse. The report shows just how important public education campaigns and access to help lines are to ensure that we all work together to stop abuse. I am interested to see what the full report says.
The £11.2 million grant we have awarded the NSPCC will help them to deliver an important frontline national service for the most vulnerable children and young people in our society. The specialist support, advice, counselling and information the helpline provides for anyone with concerns about a child who is either being abused or is at risk of being abused is invaluable.
Similarly the counsellor service Childline provides for children and young people gives them the specialist support and advice they need at the earliest possible stage, from a range of volunteers and experienced staff. These include social workers, teachers and nurses.
Without these help lines, children and young people or adults with concerns about child protection would struggle to get their voices heard.
Andrew Flanagan, CEO of the NSPCC, said:
We are grateful to the government for extending their support for our helplines. Last year Childline counsellors dealt with over 500,000 calls and online contacts from children whose worries included physical violence, sexual abuse, neglect, bullying and mental health issues. The NSPCC Helpline answered more than 30,000 calls and emails from adults concerned about the welfare of a child.
This grant will enable us to continue to provide vital services for children and young people over the next four years.
Our initial findings, published today, revealed the scale of child abuse and neglect in the UK, much of which goes unreported. Almost one in fine are severely abused. Most children are left to suffer in silence and we are glad the government has recognised the need to reach out to these children. This generous support for our help lines will ensure we continue to reach the most vulnerable children and young people.
The projected impact of the planned investment sees an increase in the number of children and young people being supported through Childline.
Notes to Editors
- Agencies with statutory child protection powers comprise the local authority, the police, and the NSPCC. (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010, p.151.)
- The NSPCC is uniquely placed at the present time as it is named as an ‘authorised person’ under the1989 Children Act section 31. In this context the NSPCC provides a range of services 24 hours day seven days a week. Staffed by a range of professionally qualified and experienced staff, including social workers, counsellors, teachers and nurses to provide specific safeguarding advice, information, counselling and support to children and young people and members of the public who have serious concerns for children either at risk of or currently ill-treated and abused, where appropriate the NSPCC make direct referrals to local authority children’s services departments and the police.
- ChildLine offers children and young people counselling by voice, online and by text and the NSPCC Helpline receives calls from members of the public and professionals who are concerned about children.
- NSPCC will be awarded £11.2 million (£4 million/£3 million/£2.2 million/£2 million) over the period 2011-2015.
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