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Should the State Play Nanny? Bob Reitemeier Chief Executive The Childrens Society London 26 November 2004 With children, for children, with you.

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Presentation on theme: "Should the State Play Nanny? Bob Reitemeier Chief Executive The Childrens Society London 26 November 2004 With children, for children, with you."— Presentation transcript:

1 Should the State Play Nanny? Bob Reitemeier Chief Executive The Childrens Society London 26 November 2004 With children, for children, with you

2 What do we mean by nanny? The state, the parent and the child Policy areas, eg Choosing Health Regulation of industry / Influencing behaviour Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

3 Nanny – Oxford dictionary Noun: 1.A woman employed to look after a child in its own home. 2.A female goat. Adjective: Interfering and overprotective: the nanny state. Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

4 The relationship between parent & child Every Child Matters and the Children Act We must do better Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

5 The roles of the state Enabler Corporate parent Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

6 The state as an enabler What is the role of the state as an enabler? What is causing us to revisit this role today? What should change as a result? Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

7 The state as an enabler Providing restrictions, eg physical punishment of children Providing an enabling environment within which parent – child relationships can prosper. Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

8 Why revisit the states role today? Beyond childrens services reform. Changes in what we mean by childhood Welfare state => Thatcherism => Today? Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

9 Family THENNOW Mortality: under 5 yrs old (1960)27 per per 1000 (2002) Mortality: under 1 yrs old (1960)23 per per 1000 (2002) Proportion of lone parent HHs (1971) 3% 6% (1991) Divorces (1950) 40, ,000 (2001) Children under the age of 16 (1971) 14.3m 12.1m (2000) What is different? Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

10 Births:Outside marriage year olds141, , year olds837,000 1,160,000 Total978,000 (6%) 1,418,000 (42%) Within marriage year olds499,000 31, year olds 14,266,000 1,922,000 Total 15,743,000 (94%) 3,371,000 (58%) Births to teenage mothers59,000 (2000) Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you What is different?

11 Drug Use Used drugs in the last year year olds - all drugs11%21% year olds - cannabis 7%13% year olds - all drugs29%28% year olds - cannabis29%26% Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you What is different?

12 TV, Computer, Mobile Phones Access to TV 99% of households have access to TV Access to computer4/5 CYP have access to home computer Access to internet >50% of CYP have access to internet (home) Mobile phones<20% of primary age CYP have phones 60% of secondary age CYP have phones Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you What is different?

13 Diet and health ObesityChildhood obesity - tripled in last 20 years Food industryGlobal advertising budget is $40 billion. Advertising:Greater than the GDP of 70% of countries. Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you What is different?

14 Nuffield Study Nuffield Study: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Nov Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you 1974 Boys1974 Girls1986 Boys1986 Girls1999 Boys1999 Girls 7.6% 6.0% 12.1% 8.6% 16.7% 13.1% 11.1% 6.6% 8.3% 5.7% 16.9% 7.1% 7.8% 13.3% 12.8% 13.4% 20.4% BehaviourHyperactivityEmotional 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% % with difficulties

15 Stress and mental health Norwich Union Healthcare study, 400 parents surveyed, all with children between the ages of 5 and 15: 78% felt their CYP were under greater pressure than they experienced. 24% felt out of touch or distant from their children. 74% worried that lack of communication in families => problems. 58% did not know where to go for help. Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you What is different?

16 Data we do not yet have… ADD / ADHD and its link to diet, artificial additives, zinc, fatty acids, genetic predisposition… The increasing levels of anxiety experienced by teenagers – is the same phenomenon occurring with younger children? What is the cumulative impact of environmental changes on our children? Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you What is different?

17 What should change as a result? Parents and children require more and different help than is currently provided. –Childhood, and therefore parenting, is more complex. –We need to better understand the needs of both. –We need to better understand the rights of both. –We need to better understand the environment we live in. Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

18 What should change as a result? Enable the individual relationship between the child and the primary carer to develop. Emphasise the first year of life, eg brain development and stress. Enable and support the parent – AND involve children! Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

19 What should change as a result? Invest significantly in community facilitators. Parent to parent works better than state to parent. Present children positively – by the government and the press. Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

20 Love and care for our children. Enable parents to be better carers, better teachers. Every child should be made to feel precious. Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

21 This does not describe a nanny state. This is a caring state. Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you

22 The Childrens Society With children, for children, with you We look at the world through the eyes of children and never flinch from what we see.

23 Mortality rates:www.unicef.org/infobycountry/uk-statistics.htmlwww.unicef.org/infobycountry/uk-statistics.html Births :Births, , Office of National Statistics. Population:Social Focus in Brief: Children 2002, Office of National Statistics, Drug Use:Department of Health Statistical Bulletin: Statistics on Young People and Drug Use 1998, Office of National Statistics: Department of Health Statistical Bulletin: Statistics on Young People and Drug Use 2003, Office of National Statistics: Access to Technology:Social Focus in Brief: Children 2002, Office of National Statistics: Obesity:House of Commons Obesity Report, Health Committee Press Release, 26 May 04. Food Marketing:Broadcasting Bad Health: Why food marketing to children needs to be controlled, A report by the International Association of Consumer Food Organisations (IAFCO) for the World Health Organisation consultation on a global strategy for diet and health, IAFCO, July Parents on Childrens Health:BBC on-line report on the Norwich Union Healthcare study, October List of Sources Should the State Play Nanny? With children, for children, with you


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