NSPCC have launched ‘All Babies Count’, a new campaign aimed at ending cruelty towards vulnerable babies. In the UK today, 198,000 babies under 1 year old have parents who are affected by domestic violence, substance misuse or mental health problems, and more shockingly, 23 children under 1 are killed each year.
There are many complex reasons why babies are abused, and no simplistic explanation as to why this happens are available. However, three parental factors increase the risk to babies: mental illness, domestic violence and substance misuse. The government has stated that it understands the importance of early intervention, and this campaign aims to make it a reality.
The campaign calls on the Government to ensure that resources are available to support vulnerable babies, by securing a 1% year on year increase in the early intervention grant, this is an affordable yet meaningful allocation of resources being spent on something which could mean the difference between life and death.
The campaign also calls for the Government to make Local Health and Wellbeing Boards responsible for providing support for vulnerable babies and potentially risky parents. This would provide a coordinated response to the needs of these babies and the parents who could put them at risk without intervention.
Finally, the NSPCC is calling on government to undertake biannual Early Intervention Reviews, so that it could better understand how its policies are effecting the provision of these services.