20 December 2023
2023 left many facing the unthinkable!
Seven years on from the UK referendum that brought immigration to the forefront of political debate, none could have predicted the depth of the crisis ahead for children, nationally and internationally, including the impact of far reaching discriminatory policies in practice.
At VCF, our continuing efforts to highlight the lack of implementation of child protection reforms has largely gone unheeded. The lack of adherence to the Equality Act 2010 and removal of related safeguarding guidance has led to families, communities and practitioners all facing the unthinkable!
Statutory authorities are beginning to see the consequences of failing to uphold the rights of every child to education, care and protection, and in their responsibilities to support a publicly paid workforce to deliver a quality service to children, young people and their families.
As a black-led, legally based organisation offering independent advocacy support to children and families, there’s no mistaking the level of racism that we have personally and professionally endured in our quest for equality and justice for all, and an overwhelming challenge in supporting families to support their children in an environment that remains hostile and unjust.
Nevertheless, the prevailing narratives have served to bolster our efforts and campaign for improvement in child protection policies and practices.
As we approach 2024, and an uncertain landscape for every child, many will endeavour to understand the human psychology behind the current children’s agenda.
The failures for children across services is gravely concerning and profound, as is the absence of transparency and systemic accountability amid continuing calls for mandatory reporting for regulated roles.
VCF has developed an intentional approach; to prompt a rethink by practitioners working with children, young people and their families, with particular focus on those from BME and migrant communities.
Key to our work to address issues for children and young people is to show them that we are listening to their concerns.
We offer the words of a young advisor to a VCF-supported project; to highlight 1 of 12 points of concern experienced by children and young people locally, and undoubtedly across the country;
“The lack of knowledge is the biggest barrier for young people not achieving because they aren’t aware of the opportunities and routes to get to where they want to be in life…”
In 2024, the organisation will be promoting and progressing community-led initiatives; to offer routes to engagement and empowerment, informed by two decades of experience and expertise.
The work continues… #everychildmatters