More than £7 million has been provided to fund the launch of See, Hear, Respond, a coalition of charities that aims to provide targeted help to those vulnerable children who have been most affected by the pandemic, as part of a Department for Education programme.
The coalition is being led by Barnardo’s, which will be working alongside local councils, police forces, schools and colleges and healthcare professionals, as well as other essential services that are involved in protecting vulnerable children.
The focus will be on finding and reaching out to children whose health and wellbeing are being affected, as well as those at risk of harm.
It will include access to online support packages, the establishment of an online and telephone referral service, online counselling or therapy to address high anxiety levels, trauma and other mental health issues, youth interventions and in-person crisis support.
Vicky Ford, children and families minister, said: “We all have a collective responsibility to protect children and young people who face challenges in their home lives, or who may not have the same support network keeping them safe outside of school or college as their peers.
“Many of them may be at additional risk from abuse, neglect or exploitation during these unprecedented times.”
A new study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, has just revealed that children will likely experience anxiety and depression well after lockdown has ended – and those young people who are lonely may be as much as three times more likely to develop depression in the future.
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