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United for a Better Childhood: Building Brighter Futures

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Going further to do better

For 60 years, the National Children’s Bureau has taken an evidence-informed approach, united individuals and organisations and combined cutting-edge research with the voices of lived experience to drive positive change to improve the complex, interconnected systems that allow every child to thrive.

Those children today face challenges of an unprecedented variety and scale, including discrimination, stretched public services and an explosion in the numbers experiencing mental health issues and life below the poverty line.

I am extremely proud of the work NCB has done to push back against these trends, but we must challenge ourselves to go further and do better.

We will deepen and expand our networks in a spirit of openness and collaboration. We will do more to ground our influencing work in our own learning to achieve even more for children. We will continue to listen to and earn the trust of disabled children and their families. And we will move forward as a larger and more impactful organisation, welcoming Research in Practice into the NCB family.

This strategy sets out our ambitious vision for a brighter future for children and young people – and the goals we have for the next five years to start to build it.

Even in the darkest moments, real change is possible. At NCB we know that because we’ve been proving it for 60 years.

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Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive

A young child on a swing in a childrens playground
A woman smiling at child say in shopping trolley

What does a good childhood mean for children and young people?

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Drawing on insights from the children we work with day in and day out, coupled with some more dedicated sessions with a group of specific children drawn from across our networks, we have co-produced a definition of a good childhood.

When we say we want to build a better childhood, we mean making this a reality for more children. We want to keep improving lives until every single child in the UK can say that they have a good childhood.

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What would a society look like that builds this better childhood?

A child wearing a stripy top
Two children hugging
A smiling teenager in a forest

Our approach to improving childhood

NCB was founded to forge closer links between Government, professionals, charities, communities and children themselves. We are about bringing people together and making connections at a unique intersection of the children’s sector. Read more about that intersection in the full version of our strategy.

From policy to practice, we follow a distinctive process to improve childhoods underpinned by our core values.

We drive change…

  • by identifying the areas and the issues most in need of focus and building sector understanding and informing best practice through evidence-based learning
  • by influencing policy development and local and national decision making and helping enshrine good practice in law

And we deliver change…

  • by implementing what we’ve learned from our research and from involving children and young people to show the children’s workforce the way forward to help many more children and families
  • by improving the systems that support children and young people by using our frontline networks to bring people together to create a bigger voice and achieve a greater impact
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This is our four-stage process to improve childhoods by driving and delivering change.

Explore the results of this approach over 60 years

Visit the timeline

Discover more about how NCB is Building Brighter Futures

Teenagers walking outside

Our goals

We know that our vision for the future will take dedication, hard work, ingenuity, collaboration – and time – to achieve. To guide our journey, we have identified six goals to strive towards:

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The NCB family, including our newest member