The former Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has announced the launch of a new think tank for children.
The Centre for Young Lives describes itself as “a new dynamic, innovative, independent thinktank and delivery unit dedicated exclusively to improving the life chances of children, young people, and their families.”
It will build on the work by the Commission on Young Lives, also headed up by Longfield. But whereas the commission was set up to prevent crises for the most vulnerable teenagers, the new centre will help all children in a variety of areas, from reducing child poverty to improving educational outcomes and mental health.
The Centre for Young Lives will be seeking collaborations and partnerships with other organisations and individuals who believe Britain should be the best place for children and young people to grow up, and aims to conduct in-depth research to develop new approaches to improving children’s outcomes.
Longfield told Children and Young People Now magazine:
“Children have been ignored and overlooked. They aren’t at the forefront of any strategic policy within government. We should be outraged and devastated that tens of thousands of children don’t have the support they need to be able to flourish in life.”
Longfield was delighted that the recommendation of the Commission to implement a Sure Start Plus for teenagers programme, has been proposed as a possible Labour party policy if they win the next general election.
“If they were to win the election, we remain convinced that there needs to be a real focus on youth workers, both in terms of preventing young people from getting involved in crime and exploitation and also helping them to succeed in school. Early intervention has always been at the core of what I’ve talked about and done, and this will be at the heart of the Centre for Young Lives approach,” said Longfield.
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