The Children's Society Seriously Awkward Campaign

As a parent I protect my children with my life, so it saddens me to hear about children who don't have that kind of protection in their lives. 

This is why I wanted to share some information about The Children's Society's Seriously Awkward campaign with my readers:

What is Seriously Awkward?

Seriously Awkward is our priority campaign to protect 16 and 17 year olds from harm, abuse and neglect. 

As older teenagers, like Eva (above) they are often overlooked or seen as ‘beyond help’.

The most vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds are often in grave danger, facing hidden harm. They are more likely to go missing or be victims of violent crime than any other age. 

They are a high risk group for domestic violence and sexual exploitation. Yet they are the least protected from abuse and neglect in law, and get much less support than younger children. 

The Children’s Society is asking the Government to change the law to protect 16 and 17 year olds from abuse and neglect. We are also calling for more support for teenagers at this age and for them to be more involved in the decisions that affect their lives. We want as many people as possible to sign our petition, and help encourage others to sign this. 

Our campaign is based on the challenges we see teenagers facing in our projects across the country as well as extensive research. You can read our full report and stories about some of the young people we work with at

Some seriously awkward findings 

Here are some of the most interesting findings from our research report. We want to challenge the perception of teenagers as resilient or streetwise, and lift the lid on how many teenagers feel – especially those most at risk: 

● The majority of parents feel life is harder today for teenagers than when they were young. 

● One in three 16 and 17 year olds has faced sleepless nights due to worry in the last year. 

● One in three 16 and 17 year olds frequently feel anxious and a quarter frequently feel sad. 

● One in ten 16 and 17 year olds admit they feel pressure to do things that could leave them at risk such as taking drugs, drinking alcohol or spending time with people they don’t feel comfortable with. 

● 70% of this age group do not describes themselves as ‘streetwise’ 

● Two thirds of 16 and 17 year olds feel judged just for being a teenager. 

● The Children’s Society estimate that half a million 16 and 17 year olds in the UK face particular risk of harm because they are already dealing with issues such as poverty, poor health or a lack of supportive relationships. 

● A teenager has to be under 16 to be protected by laws on child cruelty and neglect. 

● Three quarters of parents believe 16 and 17 year olds are still children and should be protected from harm – but the law is dangerously inconsistent in this area. 

About The Children’s Society 

The Children's Society

The Children’s Society helps change children’s stories, working towards a country where all children are free from disadvantage. 

We’ve been trusted for over a century to drive change locally and nationally and provide support where it’s needed most. We base this vital work on the experiences of every child we help and the solid evidence we gather. 

Our vision: A country where children are free from disadvantage. 

Our mission: We fight for change, supporting disadvantaged children to have better lives. 

I've signed the petition, will you?

I received no payment for this blog post, I simply wanted to share this campaign with as many people as possible.


  1. When I was leading a mobile youth project Kate, you might think it's just young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who experience a lot of the above so I'm glad to see this petition for all vulnerable yp.

    I've signed x

    1. I was actually surprised when I found out about this gap in child protection, it's shocking that 16-17 year olds aren't already protected in the same way as younger children! Thanks for signing, I hope it can all make a difference x

    2. I'm hoping that now the changes have happened in the Code of Practice and the Education and Health Care Plan support 0 - 25 years that social care will catch up too Kate!! x


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