Call to listen to young people on child poverty

Those responsible for developing policy on child poverty need to understand young people's perspectives and experiences, and to work with them on the issue, according to a new study. A report from the Child Poverty Action Group presents the local area child poverty strategies created by five groups of young people from deprived neighbourhoods in England.

Key points

  • Young people have very distinct opinions about child poverty policy, rooted in their lived experiences: they can, and want to, take part in designing policy responses.
  • Many issues repeatedly identified by young people, such as the problems caused by expensive public transport, are not mentioned at all in the government’s official child poverty strategy.
  • Conversely, some issues heavily cited by the government – such as parenting programmes – do not even rate a mention by young people in their own strategies.
  • Although there is some overlap in the problems identified by the government and young people, most of the solutions identified by the young people are at odds with the official approach. For example, young people want benefits for low-income families improved, and funding for youth activities protected.
  • There are 'remarkably few' places where both young people and the government agree on policy directions.

Source: Rys Farthing, Young People's Thoughts on Child Poverty Policy, Child Poverty Action Group
Link: Report