27 Apr 2020

Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society, said: “It’s hugely worrying that so many vulnerable children are invisible right now to the professionals who would normally spot risks and help keep them safe. 

“The lockdown is leaving many children lonely, isolated and unable to get respite from home lives which may be blighted by violence, conflict or substance misuse. Existing risks in their lives may be worsened and they may be exposed to new dangers, including everything from being groomed online for sexual abuse, to county lines exploitation.  

“The drop in referrals to social care and small proportion of vulnerable children attending school, which can offer much needed routine and supervision, are a big concern. 

“It’s crucial that social care and schools encourage families to send children to school where possible but we also want them to ensure that all vulnerable children have a named trusted professional who they can turn to. This should be someone who can check regularly that they are safe, whom they can ask for help and who can ensure they have opportunities to learn at home if they are not at school. 

“It’s also more important than ever that anyone who encounters children in their daily lives looks out for warning signs that something may be wrong and reports any concerns.” 

The Children’s Commissioner’s data can be found here

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