School-based counselling needs to be available and fully funded by the Government in all state funded secondary schools and academies to help support rising numbers of children and young people reporting mental health issues during COVID-19, the Local Government Association urges today.
“The pandemic has exacerbated existing mental health issues among children but even before this, the number of children referred to mental health services soared by nearly 60 per cent between 2017/18 and 2019/20. "
Council-run youth services have a vital role to play in helping young people avoid being drawn into harmful and dangerous situations. However, these services have seen funding reduced by more than two-thirds in real terms since 2010, which means limited funding for prevention work is being diverted into services to protect children who are at immediate risk of harm.
The long-term funding of schools has become more vital after they have incurred considerable additional costs due to COVID-19, the impacts of which will be with children and young people for years to come.
Girls and young women are being deliberately and increasingly recruited into drug-dealing ‘county lines’ gangs and subjected to horrific acts of sexual violence, the Local Government Association warns today.
“The pandemic has taken its toll on children and young people, including their education and social routines, but this disruption has been worse for those with special educational needs and disabilities"