With most schools closed for almost half a year and in-person social care provision compromised due to COVID-19, many vulnerable children and young people have lost the vital support systems provided by teachers, children’s centres, youth clubs, and social workers, therefore becoming increasingly at risk of neglect, abuse and being drawn into drugs and criminal exploitation. Furthermore, as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased, a difficult economic outlook and rising unemployment provides fertile ground for county lines gangs to groom and recruit vulnerable children and young people.
Recognising the challenges ahead, the Government has pledged more than £34m in emergency support to help troubled families, safeguard vulnerable children and enhance support. Additionally, the Department for Education announced that the Innovation Programme will provide £12m in funding for 14 projects to tackle the increased risks faced by children and young people. Funding alone, however, will not solve this problem. Now more than ever, it is vital for local agencies to work together to focus on implementing preventative measures which effectively identify, support and re-engage these children.
This timely Policy Foresight live webinar brings together key partners from local authorities, police, education, child protection, looked-after / children in care, health, youth services, housing, third sector and other statutory agencies to examine the key issues at this difficult time, and explore innovative solutions to disrupt county lines gangs, reduce associated violence and protect children and young people from exploitation and harm.
Resource - 22nd March 2020: Supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Latest News - 23rd April 2020: Knife crime in England and Wales rises to record high, ONS figures show
Latest News - 2nd May 2020: Emergency funding to support most vulnerable in society during pandemic
Latest News - 3rd June 2020: County lines gangs 'adapting' to COVID-19 lockdown, new report warns
Latest News - 5th July 2020: County lines gangs disguised drug couriers as key workers during coronavirus lockdown
Latest News - 21st August 2020: More than 100,000 young people supported as violence reduction units get new funding boost
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