'Trying To Get By' - Consulting with children and young people on child poverty

Kerry Martin, Ruth Hart

28 March 2011

Available to download from the DERA website

This study involved in-depth discussions with children and young people living in some of the most deprived areas in the country. A total of 73 children and young people were asked about poverty and how the Government can make a difference.

"Young people in poverty are the worst hit, unless something changes then it is going to be stuck like this for generations." (Young person).

Children and families living in England are experiencing quite challenging economic times with dramatic cuts in public spending. By adding to the evidence base it is hoped that this report will give young people's voices a stronger presence in discussions about child poverty and how it can be eradicated.

Key Findings

  • Poverty has an adverse impact on children and young people's education, employment and social mobility, as well as more obvious disadvantages such as not being able to afford the same possessions or have the same opportunities as their peers.
  • Young people also talked about the stigma associated with being poor and about intimidation and bullying. They are also aware of the strain that living in poverty can place on family relationships.
  • Young people are worried about being trapped in a cycle of poverty. They are concerned about the current economic climate and the impact it might have on their own financial situation and that of their families.
  • They spoke about 'new' groups of people becoming poor as a result of redundancies and cost of living rises. They also feel the gap is widening between rich and poor.
  • The negative impact of changes to certain entitlements, like the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and the increased tuition fees are also a concern to them. The cost of transport fares can make it difficult for them to get to school, college and work.

Sponsor Details

Office of the Children's Commissioner