Children and young people are caught in a “national emergency” that can only be properly dealt with by a new Cabinet post dedicated to helping them, according to an alliance of more than 160 charities and organisations. iNews reports.
The country’s youth are being “menaced by 21st century evils” the newly formed Children First Alliance claims, referring to obesity and physical inactivity, adverse childhood experiences, rising mental health issues, dominance of social media and screen time influence, and socioeconomic disadvantages. Children have become the forgotten group in society, the alliance says.
Less than 1 in 5 children are meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of more than 60 minutes of activity a day and 1 in 3 do fewer than 30 minutes of exercise a day. Approximately 850,000 children have a “clinically significant” mental health problem with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services turning away a quarter of all child referrals.
Baroness D’Souza, the former Lord Speaker who has agreed to become President of the Alliance, told i: “Given the multitude of forces that work against the welfare of children of all ages, we urgently need a Minister at Cabinet level to cut across departmental priorities and budgets in order to achieve genuine change.”
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