The Bishop of Derby asked a question on the treatment of children in the criminal justice system on 27th March 2023, following a Children’s Commissioners report on the strip searching of children, many from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, by police:
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I declare an interest as vice-chair of the Children’s Society. I join other noble Lords in expressing horror at the findings of the Children’s Commissioner’s report. It is vital that children are treated as children at all times. Can the Minister reassure the House that children are treated and recognised as children within every aspect of the criminal justice system?
The Bishop of Durham spoke in a debate on vulnerable teenagers on 26th January 2023, emphasising the negative effects of child poverty on later life:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, it is a real pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord McConnell; I associate myself with everything he said, particularly about adopting the recommendations. He also reminded us that this is no new problem. He talked about his experience in the 1980s; I could do the same from when I was doing youth work. You can also quote Greek writers and philosophers about the problems of young people in the era of the Greeks, so this is something we have always lived with.
I also thank the noble Baroness, Lady Armstrong, for securing this debate. It is always lovely to share something with someone else from this part of the north-east of England. I congratulate Anne Longfield on the report, Hidden in Plain Sight. As the Commission on Young Lives’ report demonstrates, young people falling vulnerable to violence and exploitation and entering the criminal justice system is not an issue that is shrinking, nor one that could possibly be ignored.
The effects of this problem are widespread, impacting not only the lives and futures of the young people themselves but the prosperity and security of our whole country. Such an issue cannot be resolved through sticking plasters or short-term solutions; it is instead vital that we examine and address the root causes and respond with long-term solutions.
As the report states,
“it is impossible to overestimate how important poverty is as a driver for so many of the social problems ruining and holding back lives.”
The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 9th January 2023:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government:
what plans they have to review the statutory guidance Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education to provide further clarification on what pupils should know about online gambling.
what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the statutory guidance Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education in preventing harmful gambling by school pupils.
The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham asked a question on the length of waiting times for Children’s Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for children in care on 5th December 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham: To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the length of the waiting times for children and young people in care who need to access the support of Children’s Adolescent Mental Health Services; and what steps they are taking to reduce those waiting times.
Lord Markham (Con): We do not have a national waiting time standard for these services, so this data is not available. However, increasing access to these services is a priority.
The Bishop of St Albans asked the following question during a debate on the Gambling white paper on 20th July 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I declare my interest as a vice-president of Peers for Gambling Reform. We should be shocked at the statistics that the noble Lord, Lord Foster, gave—60,000 young people not just gambling but addicted to gambling.
How many children who should not be gambling at all are caught up in this? This is damaging lives and families every day of the year. Surely we need to take some firm action, such as addressing this ubiquitous advertising on sports occasions which is normalising gambling instead of encouraging people simply to participate and enjoy sport for its own sake. When will the Government take some action on this?
On 11th July 2022, the House of Lords debated the Child Vulnerability (Public Services Committee Report). The Bishop of Chichester spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I am glad to follow the noble Lord, Lord Davies, in this debate. I am immensely grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Armstrong, and all those who have produced this outstanding report. One of the most impressive things about it is that one hears the voices of those who are so often not heard.
I think that the move from Sure Start to family hubs is a model for how we respond. The challenge of looking at the poorest and most vulnerable in our society today is such an important focus for us. The model of the family hub is absolutely invaluable, because in lengthening the time over which a person might need encouragement and help beyond the formative years of nought to five, we remind ourselves that being human is not a problem that can be solved with a quick fix of investment. It is actually a long-term story of investment and hope, of failure and recovery. That perspective, looking at nought to 19, is a really important one. I was also very encouraged by seeing the recognition of the needs of 18 to 25 year-olds, as people move into young adulthood, which is still a very important area.
The Bishop of Chichester asked a question during a discussion on the Broadcasting Sector White Paper on 11th July 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, the Government’s Up Next policy paper claims that
“public service broadcasters … develop skills and talent, drive growth right across the creative industries”.
Will the Minister undertake to widen the Government’s vision for broadcasting to ensure that we also hear how skills and talents will be developed among pupils, students and young performers and designers when at present curriculum incentive and public investment are so often lacking in this area in our schools, colleges and universities?
The Bishop of Carlisle asked a question on 24th May 2022, during a debate on the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care:
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, as we have already heard, much is to be welcomed in this review, which clearly has the needs of vulnerable children and young people right at its core. The emphasis on boosting early help to prevent children reaching a crisis point is crucial.
You must be logged in to post a comment.