An influential group of over 120 children’s charities and other organisations, including Family Fund, have called on the Government to put children and young people first in its spending commitments.

In an open letter to Downing Street, the organisations have demanded that the Government recognise compelling evidence that the services and support that children and young people rely on, especially disabled children and young people, are at breaking point.

The call comes from one of the broadest coalitions to assemble around such a cause, with representatives working across child health, education, social care, disability and poverty all signing the letter.

As the Chancellor prepares his 2018 budget, and with a spending review looming, signatories have insisted that urgent action must be taken to put children at the heart of Government spending plans.

The letter, sent to both the Prime Minister and Chancellor, highlights the pressing challenges facing services and other support for children, showing that:

  • 90 children are being taken into care every day – a record high;
  • Less than a third of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health problem will get access to NHS funded treatment this year;
  • Only three in a hundred families of disabled children think the health and care services available to their children are adequate;
  • Almost three-quarters of school leaders expect they will be unable to balance their budgets in the next financial year;
  • The number of children with special educational needs who are awaiting provision has more than doubled since 2010;
  • Up to 3 million children are at risk of going hungry during school holidays.

Cheryl Ward, Group Chief Executive of Family Fund, said, “We know from talking with families raising disabled or seriously ill children we help that many are not receiving the level of support they need from the services their children rely upon.

"That’s why, as a member of the Disabled Children’s Partnership, reflecting the voices of families, we support the call for the Government to address the £1.5 billion funding gap and to ensure disabled children and their families are at the heart of future spending.”

The coalition of organisations is asking parents, families and other members of the public to show their support by signing a public petition to the Government and using the hashtag #ChildrenAtTheHeart on social media. Click here to sign the petition.