Children in Wales launches the report on the findings from our 6th Annual Child and Family Poverty surveys.
The 2 surveys sought to understand more about the current issues children, young people and families are facing, the impact this has and importantly, to hear the views of children and young people themselves.
The experiences of practitioners and professionals working with over 41,500 families show that the situation is rapidly deteriorating. They believe we are now at a “critical” level and many children, young people and their families are currently in “absolute crisis”.
Karen McFarlane, Policy Officer for Poverty and author of the report said:
“Around 34% of children and young people in Wales now live in poverty. The impacts of poverty can be far reaching and touch every aspect of children’s lives. Right now, as you are reading this, many families in Wales are having to make the decision to either feed their children or use electricity. It is therefore not surprising that the findings show increasing debt, food and fuel poverty and a dramatic increase in poor emotional health, not only of parents, but children and young people themselves”.
The survey asked practitioners and professionals to compare the situation to last year. An overwhelming majority (94%) reported that situation has worsened. The main issues were the rising cost of living; debt; food and fuel poverty and a dramatic increase in poor mental health. Many of the practitioner findings are echoed in those of the children and young people’s survey, where they discuss feelings of “sadness” and “anxiety”; poverty related bullying and isolation; being hungry; and inequality in education.
“Have to move, Mum can’t pay the bills. Not enough food. Alone a lot so Mum can work.” (10-13yrs)
For further information about the report and its findings, please contact Karen.McFarlane@childreninwales.org.uk