Speaking at an All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children meeting to discuss the Covid-19 recovery, Children’s Minister, Vicky Ford MP, has welcomed the principles set out by the children’s sector to put children at the heart of plans for re-building following the pandemic.
‘Protecting vulnerable children is at the heart of the government response’, she stressed, adding that she ‘welcomes principles put forward by NCB, endorsed by children charities’.
In June, over 150 organisations including NCB, The Children’s Society, NSPCC and Barnardo’s, wrote to the Prime Minister urging the Government to make this generation of children as central to the nation’s Coronavirus recovery plans as health and the economy.
Leading members of the campaign then set out a series of eight principles to inform the recovery process.
At the virtual, all-party meeting, children, young people and parents shared their ideas and experiences of lockdown with MPs, Peers and representatives from across the children’s sector, sending the clear message: ‘It’s our future’. The Minster agreed: policymakers ‘must hear children’s voices’ as they decide the next steps on the path to recovery, she said.
Vicky Ford stressed the importance of cross-government co-operation – a key element of the sector’s vision for recovery. She described how different Departments had come together at an early stage in the pandemic to ensure the needs of vulnerable children were met.
She also confirmed that the ‘vast majority’ of exemptions to children’s social care duties, introduced at the beginning of lockdown, would cease in September.
Tulip Siddiq MP, Shadow Minister for Children & Early Years, also gave her ‘full support’ to the aims of the recovery coalition, calling for a children’s strategy working across government and backed by comprehensive long-term investment in children’s futures.
Parents and children speaking at the event were joined by other prominent figures including, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Prof. Viv Bennett CBE, Prof. Simon Kenny and Indra Morris.