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NSPCC warns new bill neglects abused children's therapeutic needs

The Children and Young People Bill is in serious danger of failing children in care, the NSPCC has today warned.

The NSPCC says that the Bill, which has had its second reading today, fails to ensure that abused children get vital therapy.

Some two in three young people are put into care due to abuse or neglect, but the NSPCC says their routine health check is not rigorous enough to identify which children need therapeutic help.

The NSPCC is calling for specialist therapeutic assessments to become a routine statutory part of health checks when children go into care.

NSPCC head of policy and public affairs Natalie Cronin said: "The UK government is taking abused children into care without properly assessing their emotional needs.

"Only young people displaying extreme signs of depression and distress are likely to receive mental health services but the impact of abuse rarely presents such textbook symptoms.

"A child who has been abused will usually try and lock away all the shame, guilt and terror they are feeling. A routine health check will not identify internalised trauma.

"No one will know they are suffering and so no one will be there to help until they reach breaking point."

The NSPCC is also concerned that not enough therapeutic services are available to treat children who need specialist help to overcome abuse.

Natalie Cronin adds: "Without treatment, the long-term side effects of abuse can continue well into adulthood and include anxiety, depression and difficulty functioning at work.

"We are leaving children who have already suffered so much to shoulder this burden alone."


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