A new approach to child poverty

DfE’s ‘A New Approach to Child Poverty’

The Child Poverty Act was passed last month, enshrining in legislation the target of eradicating child poverty by 2020. In this ‘A New Approach to Child Poverty’ was born –  a strategy of tackling the causes  of disadvantage and transforming families’ lives.

It announces a “new approach” to tackling child poverty, described as a movement away from the previous administration’s focus on income and towards a focus on “the root causes of poverty”: “our strategy for poverty” says the Government, “is about transforming lives, not just maintaining them on marginally higher incomes”.

The strategy has a mixed message for local authorities. It emphasises the importance of their role in tackling child poverty, and the need to adapt strategies to the local context whilst also sharing knowledge and best practice across the wider community.

The ‘Core Offer’ of support designed to help local authorities put together local child poverty needs assessments and strategies is useful, as is the Department for Education’s online guide to the Child Poverty Pilots. However, whilst emphasising the role of local authorities, and celebrating services such as Sure Start, the strategy carefully avoids the difficulties local authorities face in maintaining many of these services following cuts such as the one carefully disguised within the Early Intervention Grant.

This post is based on a LGiU members briefing written by Toby Hill. Briefings are available through individual subscriptions and accessible to all officers and elected members of our member authorities. For more information on joining the Local Government Information Unit please follow this link.

    1. Mr M Lowe says:

      Although I believe that this document will make great advances in combating child poverty I am angered and appalled that from the start, within the foreword, and throughout this document the government continually refer to people doing the “right thing” by taking full time work, for example in section 2.9:
      “The Universal Credit will support those who do the right thing, who take a FULL TIME job, to have an income which lifts them out of poverty.”

      I am married and have 2 pre-school children and personally have a physical disability which currently prevents me from working full time but inadvertently also prevents my wife from working full time.
      I would very much like to work full time but as a consequence of my mobility problem, and the pain I experience as a result of it, I am unable to do so. My wife is only able to work part time due to child care needs and the regular help I need, also it is an unrealistic suggestion for us to pay for full time child care (especially due to the reductions in child tax credit) as my wife’s salary would be solely taken by childcare!

      I would ask why a hard working family will be penalised by only working part time?

      I appreciate the government have a plethora of varying/diverse communities and families to consider but I would also appreciate them taking account of families that are trying to do the “right thing” and who are contributing what they can to society, especially by not penalising them.

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