Public Services Committee
Children in crisis: the role of public services in overcoming child vulnerability

1st Report of Session 2021-22 - published 19 November 2021 - HL Paper 95



Chapter 1: Introduction

Defining child vulnerability

Figure 1: When should early intervention services work with vulnerable children and their families?

Scale of child vulnerability

Impact of poverty on child vulnerability and demand for public services

Impact of COVID-19 on child vulnerability

Background to inquiry

Lessons from COVID-19

Our key principles for public services reform

Reviews on schools, safeguarding, early years and social care

Chapter 2: National-level barriers to early intervention and integration of services

Long-term costs of underinvestment in early intervention

Investing in early years

Early intervention support for older children

Early intervention and ‘levelling-up’: support for deprived communities

Figure 2: Change in real-terms spending on early intervention children’s services per child in England, 2010/11 to 2019/20

No national strategy on vulnerable children: consequences at local level

Joint bids

Chapter 3: Local-level barriers to early intervention and integration of services

Criminal and sexual exploitation and involvement in violent crime

Reducing school exclusions, absences and NEETs

Supporting local areas to integrate and improve early intervention provision

Chapter 4: Regulation, inspections and accountability

National regulation and local accountability

Joint working between regulators and inspectorates

Chapter 5: Barriers to sharing data on vulnerable children

NHS: “weak link” in data-sharing arrangements

Data-sharing problems in wider public sector

Chapter 6: User voice

Effective co-production

Chapter 7: Local voluntary sector

Role of local civil society and innovation in voluntary sector

Barriers to collaboration

Chapter 8: Role of Family Hubs in addressing child vulnerability

What are Family Hubs?

How Family Hubs help vulnerable children and their families

Service integration


Voluntary sector

Role of Family Hubs in providing early intervention support from 0–19

National roll-out of Family Hubs

Prioritising local areas of highest need

Family Hubs: fundamental characteristics

Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Appendix 4: Note of Committee visit to Bessborough Family Hub, London SW1 on 16 September 2021

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

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