Children 1st call for Holyrood manifesto pledges to childhood abuse survivors

Children 1st, Scotland’s National Children’s charity, is calling on Scotland’s political parties to include a guaranteed right to recovery support for every child who has experienced abuse or neglect in their manifestos for next year’s Holyrood elections.   

Chief Executive Alison Todd said: Abuse and neglect leaves children with lasting emotional scars.  Recovery is possible, with support.  Yet sadly in Scotland many children are unable to get the help they need, when they need it.  And, as pressures on public funding continue, we’re concerned that what support is available could be eroded.  We believe every child who has experieMillienced abuse, neglect and other traumatic events in childhood should have a guaranteed right to high quality recovery support; for them, and for their families.  This should be a priority issue in the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections - but the time for our politicians to show leadership is now, as they write their manifestos.

“Last year we supported almost the recovery of almost 600 children and adults.  We helped them to express their feelings and make sense of their experiences, and enabled nearly nine in every ten children we supported in this way to achieve better emotional health.  But there are no short-cuts; recovery support takes time, empathy, commitment and consistency. Our efforts depend heavily on the generosity of donors, including the fantastic support we received from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery who last year gave us more than £575,000.  But the level of need is so great that even a national charity such as Children 1st cannot hope to meet it in full.” 

Millie,* who was abused by an adult cousin from age five, is one young person whose recovery Children 1st is supporting.  Writing to the Children 1st staff member who supports her she said “I felt scared. Lost. I didn’t feel loved.  If it wasn’t for you and Children 1st I don’t think I would have been here where I am today.  Thank you I really appreciate all the help, and would love it if we could carry on until you feel I don’t need any more help or do.”

Download the Children 1st Manifesto for Holyrood 2016 (pdf)