A new study released today and conducted by Savanta ComRes, has found that only one in five Christian parents (19%) believe churches have a major responsibility to protect the mental health and wellbeing of their children, but this is still over double the rate of belief compared to parents with no religious affiliation (8%).
The research, which was commissioned by international children’s charity World Vision UK and the not-for-profit fostering agency Northpoint Care, revealed that Christian parents were more likely to identify teachers (54%) and their wider family (53%) as being most responsible for their children’s mental health, outside of the parents themselves.
World Vision UK CEO, Mark Sheard says:
“The health and wellbeing of our children is often the primary concern for most parents. Churches across the UK have been instrumental in providing practical and spiritual support to the communities around them. However, the Church must also advocate for children specifically, and play a leading role in protecting and enhancing their mental health as we come out of this crisis.”
The study also found that Christian parents were most likely to be concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their children’s education and learning (57%), mental health (50%) and physical health (51%), with fewer showing concern for the impact on relationships with existing friendships (44%).
Elijah Kirby, CEO of Northpoint Care comments:
“The Church should be a key player in advocating for children and providing safe spaces through which children of all backgrounds can thrive. Now, more than ever, our churches need to be equipped to help families and their children recognise the trauma many of us have been through and be resourced to make sure we build the resilience our children need to develop in healthy way.”