Our latest report shows that young people’s happiness is at its lowest since 2010

Teenage girl holding cup of tea and leaning against door

What is the Good Childhood Report?

The Good Childhood Report 2017 is the sixth in a series of annual reports that we have produced in partnership with the University of York, as part of a ground-breaking research programme into children’s well-being.

Over the last 12 years we’ve asked over 60,000 children how their lives are going.

Our 2017 report provides the latest national statistics and insights into the quality of children’s lives in this country. This year it focusses on analysing the latest data in trends over time and investigating if different problems mount up to have a more damaging impact on children’s well-being.

The research brings together the best available data in this country on children’s subjective well-being i.e. how happy children feel with different aspects of their lives. This includes in-depth well-being surveys by us - a national children’s well-being expert - and the University of York, in schools and households across the country. It also analyses well-being data from Understanding Society’s long-term study of UK households.

read the report

Serious problems damaging children’s well-being

We used the latest wave of our household survey of 3,000 children aged 10 to 17 and their parents to ask about 27 possible problems, such as fear of crime, having a parent in prison or risk of homelessness.

Our 2017 report shows that revealed that fear of crime is the most common problem of all making teenagers unhappy in the UK - with 1 in 3 teenage girls are afraid of being followed by a stranger and 1 in 4 boys worried they’ll be assaulted. But this is just one of many serious problems making teenagers unhappy. One million teenagers have 7 or more serious problems in their lives, making them 10 times more likely to be unhappy than those with none.

The findings come as we focus more closely on children experiencing multiple disadvantage. Until now, there’s been a gap in knowledge on how multiple disadvantage damages children’s well-being.

At a time when the Government is sharply cutting funding for children’s services, this year’s findings give us deep cause for concern.

Using the 2017 findings

Across the country, local authority children’s services play a crucial role in helping children and families manage and overcome the serious problems in their lives.

However, the Government is sharply cutting funding for the local services that help children. This leaves them unable to give young people help early, before problems get worse.

Funding for early help services alone is expected to be cut by 70% between 2010 and 2020. This will leave a £2 billion gap that will have a devastating impact on young people.

We’re asking the Government for more local funding to help young people before they hit crisis point.

sign the petition