Making a difference



Our Impact Report sets out the positive changes we've made to the lives of children and young people across the UK

download the full report

Every year through our direct services and campaigning we're working to break the cycles of poverty and neglect that are blighting the lives of too many young people in this country.

   Infographic that says 'We worked with over 13,000 children and young people in our services in the last year '    Infographic that says 'We helped bring about 27 national and regional policy changes  '

What our report shows

'Despite the challenges the sector faces, we have been able to achieve so much for young people in the last year.

'The services we run continue  to offer young people the best possible support; our campaigning and policy work is bringing real, lasting change to the lives of young people for generations to come; and our partnerships with businesses, councils and fundraising bodies are continuing to produce outcomes that allow thousands of vulnerable children to flourish. 

'I am hugely proud of what we are achieving together, and I am confident that in the years ahead we will be able to do even more to support those who need us to be there for them.'

Matthew Reed smiling at camera  

Matthew Reed signature

Matthew Reed
Chief Executive, The Children's Society

Our achievements

Our impact mapped





London and the East











South and South West

Hand icon Young people supported

House icon Total number of services

Person icon Number of young people reached

We know that when young people access our services for support with one aspect of their life, they are often having difficulties in other areas too.

Our experience has enabled us to identify three key areas in which young people encounter challenges: where they face risks to their safety and well-being; where the resources they need to flourish and thrive may be compromised; and with the resilience they draw on to respond to adverse experiences in life.

Whether we help them to address the risks they are facing, to improve their access to important resources, or to build their resilience, our specialist workers take into account the whole young person.

REDUCING RISK  building resilience   strengthening resources

Reducing risks

Our work around reducing risks is about tackling immediate factors in the lives of young people that could compromise their safety and well-being.

69% of young people measured in our risk-focused services experienced positive change.

Our policy and campaigning work around risk created 128,900 improvements in young people's lives.

‘I don’t feel judged and I feel understood as a teenager.’- Young person


When he was 13 Kyran was groomed by an older man online.

The man was lying to Kyran about his age and when Kyran found out he told his mother. They got in contact with us, where Kyran’s project worker listened to him and taught him how to stay safe.

Kyran told the police about what had happened to him and, with support from his project worker, testified against his abuser in a successful prosecution.

Kyran is now actively involved with our work helping other young people at risk of sexual exploitation.

‘There was sexual abuse but also mental abuse. He would make me feel like I was crazy.’

read Kyran's full story

Building resilience

We define resilience as a young person’s capacity to respond to adversity in their life. A young person may have experienced significant trauma or have an underlying mental health issue that can compromise their capacity to respond.

76% of young people measured in our resilience-focused services experienced positive change.

Our policy and campaigning work around resilience created 25,979 improvements in young people's lives.

‘When I needed to talk to someone when things were going on at home, I turned to them. I don't know what I would do without my workers.’- Young person


When he was 13 Hou’s parents were detained by the Chinese authorities and he fled to the UK.

Hou was taken to a British couple, who abused him physically and sexually. After several months, Hou managed to escape and started sleeping rough in London. He was recruited by a gang and was arrested while working for them.

Whe he was taken to an immigration centre and faced deportation, Hou began a hunger strike in an attempt to end his life. He was referred to us and we supported him to appeal his deportation order and apply for asylum.

His project worker also provided him with one-to-one sessions to start recovering from his years of trauma and subsequent mental health issues.

Hou is now 24 and has been awarded refugee status.

‘When my worker visited me for the first time, he gave me hope again.’

read hou's full story

Strengthening resources

We consider a young person’s resources as the social, physical or financial assets they can draw on in their life. We work to address the acute need caused by the lack of resources.

76% of young people measured in our resource-focused services experienced positive change.

Our policy and campaigning work around resources created 2,952,593 improvements in young people's lives.

‘My project worker listened to me, stuck around when others didn't, believed me and supported me to speak out.' - Young person


Katie was neglected by her parents so badly that she was taken away from her home when she was 14.

Separated from her brothers and sisters, Katie was shifted between numerous foster homes until she was placed in care.

Katie started running away to meet up with her sister and was exposed to multiple risks. When the police would return Katie to care she would just run away again. Eventually Katie was introduced to one of our project workers and they began to meet regularly for one-to-one sessions.

Katie received the support she needed and learned about the risks she was taking and how to keep safe. Katie has stopped running away and now wants to go to college to study mechanics.

‘I would change my childhood, all of it, but now I wouldn’t change anything. The Children’s Society have helped.’ 

read katie's full story

Our strategic focus for 2017/18

In 2017/18 we begin a new five year strategic cycle, driven by a brave and ambitious new strategy

 The strategy focuses on where we can make the biggest difference to young people's lives

  1. We will support young people experiencing multiple disadvantage
  2. We will enhance our ability to innovate and be a disruptive force in breaking the cycles of disadvantage experienced by young people
  3. We will have an explicit focus on partnership and collaboration
  4. We will continue to build a high-performing, efficient and agile organisation

The difference you make

Every year our supporters help us to improve the lives of thousands of children and young people across the country 

Whether it's through donations, volunteering, fundraising or campaigning, your help makes all the difference — so thank you.

What you can do

There are many ways that you can help children and young people.

get involved

Your support means we can be there for more young people when they need us the most