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‘Children are not pets, society has to help parents bring them up’

As she prepares to leave office, children’s tsar Anne Longfield says families should be at the heart of MPs’ plans

Parents have had to become teachers, a footballer has helped expose the plight of deprived families, and local groups across the country have been on the frontline in providing emergency advice and supplies. As a result, the pandemic’s extraordinary impact has helped shift Britain’s attitude to a community’s role in bringing up children, the children’s commissioner for England has said.

Talking to the Observer before she leaves the role at the end of the month, Anne Longfield said that when she took up the job in 2015, the care of children was regarded as “a bit like pets – you wanted one, they’re yours”.

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