05 DECEMBER 2023

Supporting new Demos report on joining up public services for vulnerable children and young people

A new report by cross-party think tank Demos, in collaboration with affordable housing and support services provider Grosvenor Hart Homes, has highlighted the cost of failing to effectively join up public services for vulnerable children, young people, and families in the UK. 

The report makes several clear policy recommendations to help switch the focus of public spending from the crisis end of the system towards a more preventative approach that can help make a positive and lasting difference in people’s lives.

  • Up to £4.3bn of public funds could be saved every year by taking a holistic approach to providing public services and better supporting the most vulnerable children and families in society. 
  • These costs are a direct result of the additional use of government services by young people and families needing support in areas such as housing, health, and employment due to being let down by the siloed nature of public service delivery. In this model, problems are not dealt with early enough and end up reaching a crisis point that is much more costly to resolve. 
  • Long waiting lists are preventing vulnerable children from being able to access key services with over 130,000 children currently living in temporary accommodation, almost double the number from 2011.

Among its policy recommendations, the report - Wall to Wall Support - advocates for local authorities to join up support services through dedicated key workers so that the needs of vulnerable children, young people, and families – whether in relation to housing, employment, education or health can be comprehensively considered and addressed. Better data, outcome-based procurement, and simpler things like increasing awareness of services and making them more accessible and inclusive are also key. 

Commenting on the report’s launch, Helen Keenan, Chief Executive of Grosvenor Hart Homes, said:

“The lack of affordable housing, coupled with a maze of dwindling and poorly co-ordinated support services that are hard to identify and access, is failing vulnerable children and young people, creating lost generations and saddling society with untenable long-term costs.

“By supporting this report, our ambition is to bring lawmakers' attention to the issue and to stimulate policy innovation that can shift the focus from firefighting to prevention. Through our activities which, in partnership with local authorities, provide high-quality affordable homes paired with tailored support services centred around mental health and wellbeing and routes into employment, we also hope to demonstrate the merits of an outcome-focused, replicable approach.”

Press release contact:

Christian Marroni

Group Communications Director

+44 (0) 7736 383 262

Related content

Group 2