Earlier this year, we were pleased to be asked to give evidence to the House of Lords Inquiry on ‘The role of public services in addressing child vulnerability’ inquiry. We collected views and experiences from the families in our KidsTime Workshops by running a focus group and our evidence has now been published here on the government website.
We also had the opportunity to give live evidence where one of the parents and a young person talked to the committee about their experience of being a parent with a mental illness and being a child impacted by this. Their evidence was very well received and it was clear that this issue is simply not on anyone’s radar despite the fact that there are over 3 million children and young people who live with this adversity. We hope that we made some small steps towards greater interest in the plight of these children.
Children and young people who have a parent with mental illness receive little attention or support because they are not visible, they fall between service boundaries and many professionals don’t feel confident in talking to the children about their situation. They are left to cope alone and many carry the burden silently, often hiding the fact from others lest they bring unwanted attention to the family, get isolated and bullied by their peers.
The inquiry was set up to see how reforming public services can address the growing problem of child vulnerability and how public services support should support families and children in their early years and school years.