19 Jan 2011

Enver Solomon, Policy Director, The Children’s Society said:

“We welcome the government’s commitment to improving the life chances of children at the earliest opportunity in their lives. However, there is a danger that focusing exclusively on early years’ intervention could ignore a huge number of children in need of high levels of support. It is important to recognise that serious problems can arise in a child’s life at any age, not only in the pre-school years.

“In the experience of The Children's Society, many young people are in need of particular help when transitioning to secondary school. Lack of support for teenagers can often lead to breakdown in the home with children running away, getting involved in alcohol and drugs and other risky activities.

“Yet our research* shows that when this happens, children’s social care is not well suited to responding to the needs of troubled teenagers. Equal recognition must be given to vulnerable teenagers so that adult services are not left having to pick up the costs of crime, unemployment and other social ills”.

* For The Children's Society's research into safeguarding teenagers - read the Report 'Safegarding Young People: responding to young people aged 11 to 17 who are maltreated'

To speak to Enver Solomon, or for more information, please call Rafi Cooper in The Children's Society media office: 020 7841 4526; 07740 777 450. rafi.cooper@childsoc.org.uk.