Homeless families with babies and young children do not receive adequate support from social services, the NSPCC has claimed.
In a new report published with fellow children’s charity the Anna Freud Centre, the NSPCC says local services targeted at young families lacking permanent housing are poorly co-ordinated and difficult to access.
Many such families are left having to struggle in unsuitable bed and breakfast accommodation or imposing themselves on family and friends.
An estimated 15,700 children under the age of two live in unsuitable temporary accommodation.
The report calls for a defined quality standard in the social support available to families with young children and pregnant women, as well as a review of local authorities’ use of ‘out of area’ accommodation. More than 4,000 families were allocated accommodation outside their home areas during 2014, disrupting their family and social lives.
Chris Cuthbert is head of strategy and development for the NSPCC. He said:
“It is clear that if policymakers want to create strong and healthy families and communities in the future, they should be taking decisive action now to support new parents and create the conditions in which all babies can thrive.”
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