Report paints picture of children in need


A NEW report has revealed the problems faced by children in south Warwickshire.

The Children’s Society estimate that around 3,620 children in Stratford district are in families with debt that is causing them problems, and 2,500 in Warwick district.

The charity’s research has also found that around a third of families in both areas say they have cut back on food within the last month, with a similar proportion saying they have cut back on heating, and also on clothing in order to keep up repayments.

There are said to be 16,608 children living in Stratford district and 19,329 in Warwick district, with around 3,800 and 3,760 children, respectively, living in poverty.

According to the charity there are currently 112,262 children across the whole of Warwickshire, with 3,797 categorised as ‘in need’, 1,501 because of abuse and neglect, 20,970 children are living in poverty, 14,235 living in families in council tax debt, and 19,171 living in energy debt.

Figures it has obtained from Warwickshire Police also show 334 children were recorded as missing last year, and that 449 sexual crimes were recorded against children in the past year — four per 1,000 — 59 of which were against 16- and 17-year-olds.

The society has pointed to a fall in the amount of money given to Warwickshire as part of so-called early intervention funding falling significantly since the 2010 general election.

And it is lobbying MPs, sending them each a report that paints a picture of the problems faced by children in their constituency.

Matthew Reed, chief executive, said: “For too many children, issues from mental health problems to homelessness and family debt reduce their well-being and limit their life chances.

“The Children’s Society is dedicated to helping the most disadvantaged children tackle the issues they face and succeed in life.

“We are a national charity with a local focus, running projects up and down the country and working with parliamentarians to change the law to protect children.

“We look forward to working with MPs as champions for vulnerable children.”