Resources must be targeted to help children

Detailed monitoring of children’s well-being is needed to
ensure that resources to improve their lives are been correctly
targeted, a comprehensive new report has recommended,
writes David Brown.

Wide disparities in the indicators of the quality of
children’s lives are found between the four home nations and
even within each region, according to research by Save the Children
and the University of York.

For example, Townhill ward in Swansea has a child poverty rate
of 80 per cent compared with 3 per cent in neighbouring North
Killay. While Northern Ireland has the highest infant mortality
rate it also has the lowest teenage pregnancy rate.

The report covers 22 areas that effect child well-being, ranging
from poverty, health and education to crime and the environment. It
also examines less well documented indicators such as youth
suicide, young people who go missing and sport and play.

Madeline Tearse, a policy and strategy manager for Save the
Children, said: “It is impossible to imagine how governments can
effectively reach those children most in need of their support
without detailed UK-wide and country-level monitoring of
children’s well-being.”

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