Today, NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) has released the Winter 2022 instalment of our Across the Border report. In this research series, we examine the differences between laws and policies across England and Wales that affect children and young people. In our latest report, we are highlighting the urgent need for tackling child poverty.


A teenage boy walking down the road with a camouflage backpack


Is child poverty a big problem in England and Wales?

1 in 3 children live in poverty. This is the highest it has been for several years. The ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the recent cost-of-living crisis, continue to make things worse. Now, there are over three million children living in poverty. From an increase in the number of children accessing food banks, to a rise in the number of children entering care, it is clear that change is urgently needed. As the current cost of living crisis intensifies, without urgent action the Child Poverty Action Group predicts that 200,000 more children will be pushed into poverty.


What is in place to tackle child poverty?

Our research finds there are no recent or current cross-government strategies in place to tackle child poverty in England and Wales. While there are pockets of good practice, systemic plans to tackle poverty in England and Wales were last published in 2014 and 2015 respectively and have clearly not achieved their goals. This is a missed opportunity to change the lives of children in dire need of support.


What can be done to prevent children from entering poverty?

The English and Welsh governments must commit to sustainable and funded measures to prevent children from entering poverty and tackle the challenges that millions of children face as a result. We have seen how too many children are entering care because of family poverty, and too many leave care only to become trapped in the cycle once again. This is preventable.

Publishing a national strategy in both England and Wales to tackle child poverty would be a good start.

At NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service), we believe that every child must be given an equal chance in life. ‘Levelling up’ must mean supporting children and families out of poverty as an urgent priority for the government.


What to know more about Across the Border?

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