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Ideal Queen's Speech: a Bill to ensure all children get the right start

Ideal Queen's Speech: a Bill to ensure all children get the right start

Home-Start

3 min read Partner content

The charity Home-Start reveals what they would like to see the Government say in next week's Queen's Speech.

Home-Start is one of the UK’s leading family support charities. It recruits and trains volunteers to provide tailored, non-judgemental, free support to parents with young children in their own home. Across the UK 15,000 Home-Start volunteers support more than 29,000 families and more than 63,000 children.

This is what they would like to hear the Queen say in her speech on Wednesday 27 May:

“My government will introduce a Bill within the first 100 days that will support families and provide them with the help they need in the first stages of their children’s lives, to give every child the best start in life.

The Bill will be called All Our Children and it will transform the lives of children and families across the country.

With the All Our Children Bill, my government will focus attention on three key areas of policy to ensure that all children, wherever they are and whatever their background, get the start in life they have a right to.

On housing, my government will ensure that all children have a safe place to live and play.

On mental health, the All Our Children Bill will mean all children who have a parent living with a mental health problem will receive support.

And on food and nutrition, my government will ensure all children are protected from hunger and poor nutrition.

To achieve these three goals my government will invest in early intervention, supporting families with young children. It is only by intervening and offering support at the earliest opportunity, and even during pregnancy where appropriate, that we can guarantee that our children’s rights are enshrined.

This investment in families will extend to housing, ensuring that all children grow up in a warm, loving home and that temporary housing for families is safe and appropriate for children. Every family in temporary housing will also be given a family support volunteer.

The Bill will guarantee that parents experiencing, or at risk of, a mental health problem are offered a skilled befriending volunteer to support them through the early years of raising a child, ensuring the wellbeing of all children affected by their  parent’s mental ill health. The Bill will ensure specialist mental health midwives in every maternity service to support women’s perinatal mental health needs.

Finally, it will allow for greater investment in measures that will help prevent the short- and long-term effects of food poverty and obesity on children’s health, social and mental development.

In addition to directly helping children and families, the All Our Children Bill will recognise that in providing support and friendship to families, well trained and dedicated volunteers play a key role in solving complex social problems. This is why my government will ensure that funding is available to the voluntary sector so they can recruit, train and develop the incredible people of this country who give their time to volunteer. 

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