The Chancellor’s 2016 Budget

 Not enough promised to support victims of abuse 

In today's Budget announcement the Chancellor, George Osborne, failed to take the opportunity to emphasise the government’s commitment to supporting children who have suffered abuse by ring-fencing mental health services to help them recover. This is despite the pressure the government has come under, including NSPCC research exposing worrying gaps in therapeutic support for this extremely vulnerable group of children.

While we are pleased that the government has committed to mental health funding, part of this money must now be urgently prioritised to ensure abused children get effective therapy that helps them deal with the emotional and psychological consequences of their horrendous experiences, so they can rebuild their childhoods.


"It is deeply disappointing that the government has not prioritised vital mental health support for child sexual abuse victims in this budget despite the widely acknowledged funding gaps. We have said time and time again, how it is essential that there are services to help these vulnerable young people recover and we are surprised that the Chancellor didn’t take this opportunity to emphasise the government’s commitment to this issue and ensure that the necessary support is available for victims. "
Peter Wanless / NSPCC Chief Executive

We know that each year, more than half a million children in the UK experience abuse. Yet many of those who come forward do not receive support in rebuilding their lives. A lack of funding in mental health services for children who have been abused can make it impossible for them to overcome their trauma. 

That's why ring-fenced funding to support victims of abuse is so important. That's why we've launched our campaign, It's Time. Because it's time we all took action to make sure some of the most vulnerable children in the UK are given the right support - for as long as they need it.

Almost 1 in 3 Childline counselling sessions related to mental health issues last year

Explanation: Four of the top ten issues related to mental health and wellbeing.

These were:

  • low self-esteem/unhappiness
  • self-harm
  • suicidal thoughts
  • feelings and mental health/depressive disorders.

These four issues were the main focus of 92,891 counselling sessions - 32% of the 291,753 counselling sessions carried out with children and young people in 2015/16.

See also Indicator 7 in How safe are our children? 2016.

However, we are pleased that the government has used this opportunity to provide much-needed funding to child protection and support services to families. We are delighted that £1.84m raised through Libor fines will be channelled through some of our services. These services are often a lifeline for families facing difficult situations. 

"Families are often left without the help they need during difficult times, so we welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that £1.84m raised through Libor fines will be channelled through to NSPCC services, which we will use to support parents and their children from military families."
Peter Wanless / NSPCC Chief Executive

Want to know more?

It's Time

We're calling on the government to make sure every child who's experienced abuse gets support. But we need your help.
Sign our petition

Mental health and suicidal thoughts in children

Learn about the signs of mental health problems and suicidal thoughts in children - and find out how you can help them. 
Read our advice

Child abuse and neglect

Find out what child abuse is, how to spot the signs, who is affected and what you should do if you're worried about a child
Learn more

What you can do

From requesting a Letter from Santa, to volunteering for our services, there are many ways you can help us in the fight for childhood.
Play your part

What we stand for

We’re standing up for children, demanding that laws change and action is taken to better protect them.
Find out more

Contact our press office

Contact our national and regional press offices for enquiries about our work or to request interviews.

Contact our press office