Our strategy 2016-21

We have 5 goals to make 5 million children safer by 2021, helping us protect children today and prevent abuse tomorrow.

Read our strategy document
Read our strategy document

Our goals and how we're delivering them

Domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health problems create significant risks for child abuse and neglect. And the more of them present in a family, the greater the risk to the child.

We know, with the right support, abuse can be prevented. And we're here to make sure mums, dads and carers get the support they need.

We develop new services to support families and ensure more families and children can access the services we know help. We find out what works by regularly exploring the impact our work. We help other organisations adopt, implement and deliver our services so we can reach more children and families.

And in 2 communities we work hand-in-hand with local partners to test new ways to prevent child abuse in families facing adversity that are tailor-made for the community's need, creating change across the whole system.

"Before I even started the course I’d like shout a lot. Now I don’t shout at all really. It’s the mindful thinking part of it. It’s useful. I don’t get so anxious all the time."
Parent / Parents under Pressure programme

Despite growing public awareness of child sexual abuse, not enough is being done to prevent it – stepping in after it's happened is often seen as the only option. Yet the impact is significant and long term.

We run public education campaigns like Talk PANTS and Speak Out Stay Safe to give children the knowledge they need to stay safe from harm and how to speak out if they're worried.

We develop and evaluate new services to prevent child sexual abuse, including helping young people to understand their harmful sexual behaviour.

We're testing new approaches to tackling sexual abuse in 2 communities. We work with all members of the community, to help change behaviour.

"It's important that you know about it, even if you don’t need it in your lifetime, if you pass it on to your children and they just keep passing it on. At least then they'll be aware […] and they know there is someone to turn to."
Child / Speak Out Stay Safe assembly

We know some children who try to tell someone they're being abused aren't 'heard', what's happened isn't seen as abuse or it's not acted on. Often, it's taken them many years to find the courage to speak out.

We help children and adults to recognise and speak out about abuse – and support adults to take action to protect children.

Our Speak out Stay safe programme reaches primary school children across the UK. We help children understand abuse and teach them how to ask for help.

We offer support and a place for children to be heard with our Childline service and help adults to take action to protect children through our helpline.

We want to motivate hundreds of thousands of people to join us in the fight for childhood. Like supporting our Fight for a Fair Start to demand mental health support in pregnancy and the first year for every mum.

"I am so immensely grateful that you were there to listen without telling me I am lying, judging me or making me feel worse about myself… that is the amazing thing about these chats, they can save lives."
Girl / Childline

Abuse and neglect can derail a child's development, affecting everything from their physical growth to their cognitive and emotional development. Without help, the impact can last long into adult life.

Yet many children who've been abused can't access support. Through our campaigning, and by providing more effective services, we're changing that.

We invest in world-class research to understand and show what works in helping children get back on track. Like The Lighthouse, the first service of its kind in the UK providing multiple services in a child-friendly environment.

We provide therapeutic services like Letting the Future In, helping children who've been sexually abused to recover and rebuild their lives.

"The NSPCC felt like they were on our side as a family – rather than try and put us back onto some sort of correct path they just supported us to get there on our own, which was helpful and affirming."
Parent / Letting the Future In for children with learning disabilities

The online world offers many opportunities for children. But it also creates risks, including the sharing and viewing of child abuse images and bullying. And the type and scale of the challenge is fast-moving.

We lobby to call for changes in the way the online world works. We work with technology companies and government to put effective online safety controls in place. We campaign for new laws to protect children from sexual abuse online.

Net Aware helps parents and carers understand the internet better and help keep children safe online.

"They set up a Facebook group called ‘We hate Amy-Louise’*. Speaking to Childline helped me come to terms with what happened. If I hadn’t, I don’t think I would be here now."
Girl / Childline

What we've achieved so far

In 2016, we set ourselves an ambition to make 5 million children safe from abuse in 5 years. We're proud we reached our target in 2019, in just 3 years.

  • Over 12,400 children and adults reached through NSPCC-tested services scaled up to other organisations.

  • We've worked directly with over 21,700 children and adults.

  • Over 639,000 children had frequent conversations with parents and carers prompted by our PANTS campaign.

  • We delivered our Speak out Stay safe service to more than 4.7 million primary school children.

  • Over 334,900 children aged 12-18 contacted Childline for the first time.

  • Over 15,500 primary school children received our Keeping Safe programme in Northern Ireland.

Find out more about the ways we’re working together to help make a difference to children's lives (PDF). You can also read our annual reports to see how we help make children safer each year.

Our priorities for 2019-20

We’ve made progress against all the goals we set out. Our targets are now being met or are well on the way to being met. And we‘ll continue to work tirelessly until every child has access to the support and protection they need. 

  • We'll increase the reach of our direct work to prevent child sexual abuse and abuse in the early years by scaling up our face to face services.
  • We'll build the evidence base and campaign to deliver policy, practice and behaviour change in:
    • child sexual abuse
    • making children safer from online abuse
    • what works in helping children get back on track
    • early child development.
  • We'll ensure every child has somewhere to turn by implementing recommendations from our Childline Development Programme and continue increasing the reach of Speak out Stay safe.

Read our full strategy document (PDF)


Names have been changed to protect identities. Any photographs are posed by models.