Children’s commissioner Anne Longfield has today (January 21st) called for a ‘big, bold, long-term plan’ to tackle poverty.
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:
“Growing up in a family forced to decide between heating the home and putting food on the table fundamentally undermines a child’s life chances. The impact of the economic downturn will be most acute for families already facing disadvantage - including those from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities - and the Government needs to ensure the welfare system is adequate to prevent them falling into crisis.
“The £20-a week Universal Credit uplift should be made permanent to help protect thousands of families and children from falling deeper into poverty.
“But it's essential we also have long-term investment in children's social care and other vital services, so that children and families can access support when they need it, not just after they reach crisis point.
“While we welcome action taken by the Government so far, investment in vital early help has fallen by at least £1.6 billion over the last 10 years, while more and more children are coming into care. Strategic, long-term funding is needed to accompany the Government’s forthcoming reviews of early years and children’s social care, and to give vulnerable children the best possible chance of a positive future.
“Children must be a priority in the ‘post-Covid era’. The Government needs to appoint a Cabinet-level Minister for Children and Young People to work with families, schools, local authorities, businesses and charities to oversee a joined-up strategy that puts young people at the heart of policy and funding decisions and mitigates the impact of the pandemic on their lives.”