OCC report on vulnerable teenagers

Charlotte Ramsden, ADCS Vice President, said:

“We share the concerns expressed about the current vulnerability of young people. We do not underestimate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on children and young people, including the risks facing our most vulnerable teenagers. Covid-19 will have affected each one differently, but it is crucial that they all get the support they need to recover which means they must be a priority in national recovery planning.

“Local authorities and colleagues across education settings have worked hard together to keep children and young people safe and engaged in learning while schools and colleges have been closed to the majority of pupils. We expect all learners will need some level of support with their education when they return, those who were already facing challenges are likely to need more than others. The recently announced catch-up funding for schools is welcome, but this scheme overlooks the support young people attending colleges will need to get back to education and normality. We hope this report encourages government to introduce plans for colleges as a matter of urgency.

“Covid-19 has changed the way local authorities are working but it has not changed our commitment to meeting the needs of children and young people. Multi agency safeguarding arrangements remain in place and councils continue to work closely with our partners in education and the police to keep children safe from harm and protect their welfare. Referrals to social care dropped during lockdown but they are beginning to pick up again. Harms facing children and young people did not simply disappear over this period, and we expect them to become more visible as restrictions continue to ease and schools and other settings raise safeguarding concerns with us. The NHS has passed the peak of its response, but it is only just beginning in children’s services. This is when we will need the most financial support from government to ensure children and young people get the right support at the right time.”

ENDS



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