Children in Wales launches the findings from their 6th Annual Child and Family Poverty surveys. This report shares the experiences and views of practitioners and professionals working with over 41,500 children and families across Wales and importantly, hears the voices and experiences of children and young people themselves.
“Have to move, Mum can’t pay the bills. Not enough food. Alone a lot so Mum can work” (10-13yrs).
An overwhelming majority (94%) of practitioners and professionals reported that the poverty situation has worsened, believing that we are now at a “critical” level and many children, young people and their families are currently in “absolute crisis”.
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.
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”.