Making a difference

Women Taking Action is a group of influential and inspiring women determined to act now to prevent child neglect.

Action for Children supports and protects the young and disadvantaged as they grow up. We exist to make their lives better: now, tomorrow, and every day

We make growing up safer. We take action early to fix problems before a child is overwhelmed by them. We support children and their families at different stages in their lives. We care about each child and every family. We treat everyone as an individual and give people the support they really need. We never give up.



We believe:

  • Every child should feel safe
  • Every child should feel secure
  • Every child should have opportunities
  • Every child should have a childhood

Across the country, there are families struggling to cope. There are children who aren't getting the care or opportunities they desperately need. Children who are neglected, ill-treated and abused. This is life, today, for millions of children in the UK:

40% miss out on "good" parenting (around 6 million)

20% live in absolute poverty (around 3 million)

10% are neglected (more than 1.5 million)


Neglect is the most prevalent form of child abuse, featuring in 60% of serious case reviews into the death or serious injury of a child.

Imagine one child on every street in the country suffering, not fed or clothed properly, bullied by those they should trust to care, or facing isolation and often violence as they grow up.

This is unacceptable. We have to help now.

Women Taking Action exists to do just that.

Our front-line staff see shocking cases of child neglect first-hand. Here are just a few examples of the situations they've found:

  • A family of five children living in a house with no beds or mattresses, and ragged pieces of material hanging in place of actual doors
  • Two children so afraid of being removed from their mother that they would take empty food packets out of neighbours' bins to put in cupboards, so social workers didn't know they weren't being fed
  • A mother left her post unopened for years because she didn't know how to read and hadn't the confidence to tell anyone. Consequently, her children were years behind with vaccinations, had dental problems and issues at school weren't being communicated
  • In extreme cases, children have been crawling among dog excrement in their house

We have received reports from teachers seeing children still wearing nappies at primary school, because the parents were unaware it was their job to teach them how to use the toilet. Children unable to put together basic conversation because they have never been spoken to properly, and children who did not respond to their own names.

Women Taking Action. Early.

Action for Children is committed to taking action early to fix problems before a child is overwhelmed by them. By acting early, we can reduce the number of neglected children, improve their health and boost their life chances.

Funding early action work.

One example of this work is the family Partners programme in Sandwell, ranked as the 12th most deprived local authority in England.

Find out more about the service, the families it helps and how much it costs to run.

A success story

Three boys aged 12, eight and seven lived with their parents. Both parents were drug-users, conditions in the house were very poor and the children did not have proper beds, bedding or toys. They were always unwashed. The heating was rarely on and there was a suspicion that bedding and toys were being sold to raise money for drugs.

Read the full story