A young person sits on a step in conversation with a Barnardo's support worker

Our policy work

We bring the voices and experiences of children and young people directly to decision-makers across the four nations of the UK.

We call for improvements to the law, policy, or practice that will help change children’s lives and the systems around them for the better. To ensure that the actions we recommend will be as effective as possible we carry out evidence-based research and share it with decision makers and others working to help children across the UK.

  • Our latest news

    Read information about our latest campaigns, media statements and research.

  • Get involved with our campaigns

    Learn about our campaigns and how you can help change laws, policies, or practices.

  • Westminster Parliament Briefings

    Read our latest parliamentary briefings highlighting issues affecting children, young people, parents and carers we support.

How we made children’s voices heard in 2021-22

In this period Barnardo’s was mentioned 117 times in legislatures across the UK.

 Westminster highlights

  • Published It Takes a Village, which showcased cost savings from our Isle of Wight service and made the case for the expansion of family hubs, successfully secured in 2021 Autumn Budget.
  • Published new evidence aimed at influencing the Independent Review of Social Care in England:
    • No Place Like Home, developed in partnership with IKEA, highlights the experience care leavers have of accommodation. Five of our seven recommendations were adopted by the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care.
    • A Care System That Cares, which contains a checklist of recommendations co-created by care experienced young people supported by Barnardo’s.
  •  Led a coalition calling on the Government to introduce compulsory age verification for commercial pornography sites which they did in the Online Safety Bill. Meanwhile, we gathered over 1,000 signatures for our open letter to pornography sites, calling for immediate action to keep children safe online. Read our open letter to pornography sites.
  • Achieved amendments to the Health and Care Act, including protection for young carers when their relatives are discharged from hospital, working in partnership with Carers UK.
  • Launched a report shining a light on the hidden nature of child criminal exploitation (CCE) demonstrating the gaps in recording and identification of child victims.
  • Hosted a joint fringe event with the NSPCC at Conservative and Labour Party conferences.

AnchorDevolved nations highlights

  • In Northern Ireland we launched a manifesto, An Assembly for Children, ahead of the elections with 20 MLAs attending the launch in Stormont.
  • We gave evidence to the Communities Committee of the NI Assembly on the financial impact of Covid-19 on charities, and successfully influenced policy and legislation on unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, justice and adoption.
  • In Scotland we gave oral evidence to inquiries into young people’s mental health and wellbeing and the Scottish Attainment Challenge. We also secured debates in the Scottish Parliament, arranged service visits for MSPs, and supported the campaign to double Scottish Child Payment
  • In Cymru we held focus groups to influence policy on mental health; gave evidence to an inquiry on care experienced young people and their children; and arranged visits for MPs and MSs.
  • We also supported the launch of the #EndingPhysicalPunishment campaign in Wales.

Find out more about our campaigns in the devolved nations

Read our latest reports

Our latest reports are below. Visit our report archive for older documents. 

Contact information for Policy

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