Child poverty local authorities, local duties & local action


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Child poverty local authorities, local duties & local action

  1. 1. Exploring the Approaches of North EastLocal Authorities to Tackling Child Poverty
  2. 2. CONTENTS 1. Foreword 04 2. Introduction 05 3. Background & Methodology 06 4. Summary of Findings from 07 Child Poverty Needs Assessments 5. Emerging Priorities identified by 09 Child Poverty Strategies 6. Potential Policy Options 15 7. Conclusions 17 October 2012
  3. 3. 041. FOREWORDTackling child poverty in the North East is not a newpiece of work for the local authorities in the region. It is,however, one of the most important challenges they face.Child poverty affects children not just in If the commitment to eradicate childtheir childhood but in their prospects for poverty by 2020, is to be met, we willadult life as well. Children who are born need to refresh and update our analysespoor are more likely to be poor as adults of poverty regularly. It is hoped thatand have poor children. Currently, more this report, which highlights commonthan 1 in 4 children growing up in the themes and identifies potential areas forNorth East today are living in poverty improvement within and across the Northand, in some local authority wards, the East, will support future analyses andfigure rises to more than 50% of children. help to increase our understanding ofThat is the scale of the situation we are how we can best tackle child poverty.trying to address today. The North East Child PovertyThe Child Poverty Act introduced duties Commission will continue to work closelyfor local authorities to work with their with local authorities and their keypartners to produce Child Poverty Needs partners in the wider public sector, theAssessments (CPNAs) and Child Poverty voluntary sector and the business sectorStrategies. Local authorities in the region to ensure that we end child poverty and,are fulfilling these duties and have in doing so, improve the lives of childrencompleted their first CPNAs. – and their life chances – across the North East.However, the pace and scale of someof the reforms being introduced by theCoalition Government mean that thepicture in the North East is constantlychanging and we need to understandhow these changes impact upon some ofour most disadvantaged and vulnerablecommunities. Murray Rose Director of Service to People, Darlington Borough Council, Chair, North East Child Poverty Commission
  4. 4. 052. INTRODUCTIONPoverty is defined as a household incomeof below 60% of the median.There are approximately 130,000 other items to protect their children The North East Childchildren growing up in poverty in the from this stigma.4North East and it has been predicted that Poverty Commissionthe number is likely to increase in the • ave the Children estimate that poorer S The North East Child Povertycoming years. Child poverty can have families often have to pay a ‘poverty Commission is a stakeholder groupdevastating effects for children (not just in premium’ of around £1,280 per year made up of representatives from localtheir childhood but in their adult life as for good and services . This is because authorities, other public sector bodies,well), their families and for society more of different tariffs for gas and electricity charities and businesses who are workinggenerally. suppliers, higher interest rates for loans together to tackle child poverty in the and purchases and higher insurance North East. The Commission is keen• nfants in the poorest families have an I premiums for living in disadvantaged to raise public and political awareness almost 10 times higher chance of dying neighbourhoods.5 about the devastating impact that poverty suddenly in infancy than those in the • nly one in nine children from low O has on children, their experience and highest income group.1 income backgrounds will reach the enjoyment of childhood and their• here is an ‘attainment gap’ between T top 25% of earners as adults. The UK chances in life as an adult. pupils who receive Free School Meals has very low ‘social mobility’ which is The aim of the North East Child Poverty and those pupils that don’t receive sometimes expressed as ‘poor children Commission is to “provide a strong regional FSM. 15% of boys receiving FSM did grow up to be poor adults’.6 voice to raise awareness of the issue of child not get 5 GCSEs in 2010, whereas only • t is estimated that child poverty costs I poverty in the North East and to work 5% of boys that didn’t get FSM failed the UK approximately £25 billion collaboratively to tackle the problem.” to get 5 GCSEs.2 per year, including around £17 billion• hildren who live in poverty are twice C that would return to the government as likely to live in poor quality housing. (through increased taxes and reduce Overcrowding and spells living in benefits payments) if child poverty temporary accommodation are also were eradicated.7 factors that affect children growing up in poverty.3• here is a stigma attached to living T in poverty and poor children are often bullied at school. Not wanting to appear poor means that a lot of children who are entitled to Free School Meals don’t actually take them and poor families will often go without 1. 4. 6. Health_consequences_of_Poverty_for_ aspx?storycode=6070031 resource-library/opening-doors-breaking- children.pdf 5. barriers-strategy-social-mobility-0 2. default/files/docs/UK_Poverty_Rip_Off_ 7. 3. Brief_1.pdf estimating-costs-child-poverty Health_consequences_of_Poverty_for_ children.pdf
  5. 5. 063. BACKGROUND METHODOLOGYBackground MethodologyThe Child Poverty Act 2010 requires This report is based on the documents The report presents the findings of thelocal authorities to produce a ‘joint child produced by local authorities in response analysis of the CPNAs using the Buildingpoverty strategy for their area’ along with to the local duties outlined in the Child Blocks structure suggested by the guidancetheir partners. Poverty Act 2010. from the Child Poverty Unit.In line with the decision by the Coalition All 12 local authorities in the North Analysis of CPSs and other documentsGovernment not to introduce statutory East provided information relating to including action plans focused onguidance in relation to Part 2 of the the work that they had undertaken in identifying emerging themes or prioritiesact, in a FAQ Guide, the Child Poverty respect of these duties. The information for action. Where similar themesUnit state that ‘it is not stipulated provided included Child Poverty Needs emerged from a number of differentwhether strategies should be stand-alone Assessments (CPNAs), Child Poverty authorities, a summary of relevantor embedded/integrated with other Strategies (CPSs), Children and Young evidence and/or existing practice isstrategies – this is a judgement for local People’s Plans, covering reports and provided and some Potential Policy Optionsauthorities and their partners to make.’ 8 minutes of relevant meetings. are identified.Another document – A Guide to Part 2 Analysis of the CPNAs focused on the Hyperlinks have been provided for allof the Child Poverty Act 2010 – suggests evidence used - or not used - in the references, where possible.that the strategy must be ‘visible, development of the assessments and thetransparent and accountable to the local adherence to – or divergence from – thecommunity’ 9 . The strategies ‘must non-statutory guidance which was issuedinclude measures relating to matters to local authorities inidentified in a local child poverty needs support of Part 2 of theassessment’ 10 Child Poverty Act. 8. 9. 10. doc/f/faq%20on%20part%202%20of%20 files/doc/g/guide%20to%20part%202%20 ukpga/2010/9/pdfs/ukpga_20100009_ the%20child%20poverty%20act.doc of%20the%20child%20poverty%20act%20 en.pdf 2010.doc doc/f/faq%20on%20part%202%20of%20 the%20child%20poverty%20act.doc
  6. 6. 074. FINDINGSSummary of Findings fromChild Poverty Needs AssessmentsGeneral Employment Skills Family Life Chances• he decentralisation agenda and T • Making work pay’ is a key element ‘ • ver 60 different data sources relating O the decision not to issue statutory of the government strategy to tackle to the Family Life Chances building guidance in support of the Local Duties child poverty and a strong focus on block were used in the compilation of the Child Poverty Act allowed addressing worklessness exists within of CPNAs in the North East. Seven local authorities to develop CPNAs the CPNAs. However, there was not national measures of children’s live and CPSs that link to and support much information provided on the chances are included in the national their existing local structures and success or otherwise of employability strategy. frameworks. initiatives. • ocal authorities responded to L• range of approaches have been A • owever, around 60% of children H a national policy focus on the adopted in relation to: the profile given living in poverty live in a household Foundation Years Early Intervention: to child poverty within authorities; where at least one adult works and moving towards and/or improving where the agenda is located within the North East has the highest or the provision of early intervention existing organisational or partnership joint highest proportion of employees initiatives was highlighted as a priority structures; and how and what data earning under £7 per hour in England in a number of CPNAs and/or CPSs. has been used in the development of 11 and high levels of job density (the CPNAs. • here is a need to understand what T number of applicants pre vacancy). works well in early intervention, how Therefore, the supply and quality• he extent to which the views of T outcomes can be measured and how of work is also important in tackling children and young people and their a shift towards early intervention can poverty and better use of labour parents fed into the development of be achieved, especially in the current market statistics could help understand the CPNAs varies across the region. economic climate. the reasons for poverty, unemployment Where data from children and young or economic inactivity. people was used, it tended to be drawn from quantitative surveys, both existing and new. There is little evidence of qualitative information on the impact of poverty on child and family life informing the development of the CPNAs. 11.
  7. 7. 08CONTINUED...Financial Support Place Delivery At-Risk Groups• here is well-developed regional work T • H ousing supply and condition, • ost of the information contained M taking place across the North East, including the number of fuel-poor within CPNAs regarding ‘At-Risk and within local authorities to tackle households and the rates of decency Groups’ related to family structure (e.g. financial exclusion. However, it was were the main issues explored by local age of mother, single parents, number not always clear how this work was authorities in this building block. and age of children) or participation integrated with local authority child in the labour market. In some cases, poverty work. • ore detailed information such as M but not all, this information was also provision of, or access to services, presented geographically.• he impact on the local authority T location of employment opportunities, area of not maximising household satisfaction with the physical • ess information was presented on L income was not explicit in any of the environment and awareness of the other identified ‘At-Risk Groups’ such CPNAs and it was not always clear locations of ‘at-risk’ groups was not as some ethnic minority communities that information from the advice sector generally included in the CPNAs. and families with a child or parent supported the development of the who is disabled. This may have CPNAs. been because this building block was introduced after initial guidance had been issued and as part of the Coalition Government’s updating of the blocks.
  8. 8. 095. PRIORITIESEmerging Priorities fromthe Child Poverty StrategiesThe lack of non-statutory guidance Analysis of the priorities for action thatagain offered local authorities and their Local Authorities identified suggestspartners an opportunity to develop that they broadly fall into six mainstrategies that are in keeping with the categories:12local policy and strategic frameworks andsome local authorities developed CPSs • aising aspirations/achievement/ Rthat were integrated with other strategies attainment helping children fulfiland frameworks. A number of the their potentialauthorities within the region produced, • nsuring every child has the best Eor have committed to producing, a stand start / re-focussing around Earlyalone Child Poverty Strategy, whilst Intervention preventionothers have decided to embed theirstrategies within wider or existing pieces • mproving access to work and Iof work. reducing worklessness • inancial Inclusion initiatives and F maximising household income • Improving neighbourhoods • mproving health and well-being I One other priority was also identified by one CPSs that didn’t fit into the six broad categories identified above: • Child poverty proofing’ local authority ‘ and partners strategies and plans These priorities were often expressed 12. using a number of different terms and different approaches were also highlighted in CPNAs and CPSs (most notably around family centred models of support)
  9. 9. 10CONTINUED...Raising aspirations/ ‘There were no good indications that a Ensuring every child has child’s aspirations could influence laterachievement/attainment participation’ 14 the best start / re-focussing helping children fulfil around Early Intervention The widespread emphasis on raisingtheir potential aspirations, in particular, does not seem to preventionThe theme of raising aspirations and be a good foundation for policy or practice. The focus on Early Intervention is notachievement amongst young people from Teachers and other professionals may need a new concept and local authorities anddisadvantaged backgrounds has been to revise upwards their estimation of the their partners have been running pre-particularly important in policy circles aspirations of parents and children.15 school programmes via Sure Start andin recent years. Under the previous Children’s Centres for a number of years. There is also further evidence thatgovernment, the Inspiring Communities Both the Field and Allen reviews also suggests that the popular view of poorerprogramme was designed specifically emphasised the importance of supporting parents having ‘lower’ aspirations forto raise young people’s aspirations. children and families in the pre-school their children is not necessarily the case.However, evidence suggests that or ‘Foundation’ years. The reviews and A recent study by researchers at Leedsaspirations are generally high across all their suggestions were broadly welcomed University16 suggested that aspirationssocio-economic backgrounds, although and supported by most audiences and the amongst parents from differentattainment does not always meet these Allen Review had cross-party support, backgrounds were not necessarily linearaspirations amongst some demographic although some commentators have noted (low-high) but that they were qualitativelygroups. This is often referred to as the that ‘early interventions’ can and should different.‘Aspiration – Attainment gap’ and there include programmes working with adultsis clear evidence that children eligible for The Pupil Premium will play an and older school meals do less well at school important part in efforts to close thethan those children who are not eligible However, the demand to reform public attainment gap between pupils eligiblefor free school meals.13 sector services and to identify potential for free school meals and their peers who savings has highlighted the financial are not eligible for free school meals.One local authority noted in their benefits of early intervention when A toolkit17 produced by researchers atCPNA that ‘children and young people compared to the cost of crisis intervention Durham University has summarisedare full of ambition … they have high at a later stage when the issue may be evidence around interventions focusedaspirations for the future and a strong more serious and/or complex. on raising attainment and improvingdesire to succeed’ and research carried learning. This toolkit highlights that Some criticisms of the focus on Earlyout by Joseph Rowntree Foundation there are ways in which attainment can Intervention initiatives have suggestedfound that ‘both primary and secondary be improved without a need to focus on that, in the current political use, it focusesschool aspirations and expectations for raising aspirations. too narrowly on perceived parentalHE among parents and children were shortcomings and failings and also that itgenerally high even among young people requires funding at a time when servicesfrom the poorest backgrounds’. This for young people are under threat as theyresearch suggested that strategies should are not statutory requirements18 . The childbe focused on raising attainment ratherthan aspiration and that ‘focused work is poverty strategy, for example, suggestsalso required to convert high expectations that ‘what is needed is a much widerand aspirations into reality’. Further work culture change towards recognising theby JRF in this area suggests that: importance of parenting, and how society can support mothers and fathers to give their children the best start in life’19 . 13. for example: See 15. 18. publications/educational-attainment- aspirations-attitudes-educational- php/2011/battles/5414/ poor-children attainment 19. uk/nestore/docs/cyp/change_children/ 16. publications/standard/publicationDetail/ aspirations/john.pdf abstract?rss=1 Page1/CM%208061 14. ttp:// h 17. aspirations-educational-attainment- toolkit-of-strategies-to-improve-learning/ participation
  10. 10. 11CONTINUED...However, very little research exists to Improving access to work/support the suggestion that poverty iscaused by poor parenting practices and reducing worklessnessmuch of the research that has looked Work is the key method for tackling child in jobs repeatedly failed to provide routesat links between poverty and parenting poverty in the Coalition Government’s away from poverty, largely because ofemphasises that parenting practices ‘new approach’. Welfare reform is few opportunities being available incannot be divorced from the environment intended to incentivise participation the local job market; and the insecurityor context in which they occur. A JRF in the labour market and there is new of low-paid and low-quality work wassummary of research findings relating to support for individuals facing particular the main reason why shuttling betweenparenting and poverty stated that disadvantage. benefits and jobs had been interviewees predominant experience of working life.25A key finding here is that the majority of A number of pilots have taken place inparents in poverty (like those living in relative the North East looking at new ways of These findings – and the statistic thataffluence) possess adequate parenting capacity. joining up employment related services 60% of children living in poverty in theThis belies any assumption that poverty is including the co-location of Work- UK live in a household where at leastnecessarily associated with a lack of focussed services in Children’s Centres one adult works26 –demonstrate thatparenting capacity. in Redcar Cleveland and a ‘School work does not always offer a route out Gates’ Employment Support Initiative in of poverty and that the quality of jobsThe North East is also seeing some of Middlesbrough. All of these programmes also matters. Campaigns around Livingthe highest increases in the number of and new ones contained within the Wages, family friendly employmentchildren going into care and this is being national child poverty strategy seek to practices and rights for temporarylinked with the effects of the recession. work with individuals to help them find workers have all highlighted how someGiven the costs involved and the damage work. This focus on attempts to support employment practices can serve to keepand disruption that this process can individuals into work risks ignoring people in poverty even when they arehave on children and young people, it the importance and relevance of wider employed. Recent research has also againis imperative that the reasons for this labour market issues such as a skills highlighted that the cost of childcareincrease are understood and alternative, mismatch21 (rather than a shortage) can act as a deterrent to people takingpreventative models of service delivery the different rates of unemployment22 employment27. A number of recentare explored. and job creation and the different impact studies have also highlighted the ‘businessThe NSPCC have noted that while of the recession on different regions case’ for improving working practices and‘research shows an association between across the UK23 24. paying ‘fair wages’28. These studies haveneglect and poverty, it does not mean highlighted benefits such as improved Work by researchers at Teessidethat poverty causes neglect or abuse’ staff satisfaction, performance and University exploring the ‘low pay-no pay’and ‘the majority of families living in retention and improvements in health cycle highlighted a number of key pointspoverty do not maltreat their children and well-being. about the interaction between individualsand parent effectively’ 20. and local labour markets including: an enduring commitment to work despite experience of moving in and out of employment and low-paid jobs; financial necessity and a desire to work leading people to take poor quality jobs that trapped them in long-term insecurity and poverty; engagement 20. 23. 26. poverty_wda56897.html of-the-recession-on-the-labour-market/ index.php?page=contents 21. impact-of-the-recession-on-the-labour-market/ 27. publications/ambition-2020-the-2009-report-key- impact-of-the-recession-on-the-labour-market--- uk-childcare-support.htm findings.pdf impact-of-the-recession-on-the-labour-market.pdf 28. for example: See 22. 24. staff/8041.pdf unemployment-rise-jobs-not-there 25. doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008009.pub2/abstract;jses recurrent-poverty sionid=563BE44323FB72F9D2885BC424BD5C57. d01t04
  11. 11. 12CONTINUED...Financial Inclusion Improvinginitiatives/maximising neighbourhoodshousehold income (expressed in terms ofEnsuring that everyone is receiving the It is unfortunate that traditional sources family child friendly/money that they are entitled to and of advice and support in this area are safe/sustainable and under particular threat as a result ofare able to access mainstream financial the fiscal squeeze on local authorities. including housing)services is vital in tackling child povertyand mitigating its impacts. Research However, a number of new and The only mention of neighbourhood and/shows that take up of benefit such as innovative approaches to service delivery or environmental issues in the nationalCouncil Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit is around financial support suggest that strategy on child poverty acknowledges,lower amongst households that work, there are opportunities to maximise via a reference to the Marmot Review ofand finding ways of reaching workers is household income (and reduce household Health Inequalities that ‘the poorer theparticularly important in this theme. expenditure) even in the current climate. neighbourhood, the more likely it is to Regional collaborative working is already have high rates of crime, poor air quality,For example, national figures released taking place via the Financial Inclusion lack of green spaces and safe places forin 2010 show the estimated take up rates and Capability Network (FINCAN) and children to play’ 34.for Income Related Benefits, Tax Credits local authorities are already working withand Child Benefit for 2008-09 29,30. It is and supporting this venture. Improving the physical environment ofestimated that the loss to the North East disadvantaged neighbourhoods oftenfrom the non take up of tax credits by Financial Inclusion initiatives and links back to the ‘broken windows theory’families with children alone was between projects, whilst perhaps best delivered of social norms in poorer and less well£90 million and £220 million 31. ANEC at a local level, could benefit from some maintained environments. However, inestimated that in 2006/07, between £501 regional consistency and collaboration. the current financial climate, it is likelyand £894 million was lost to the North Best practice at a neighbourhood level that local authorities will be required toEast as a result of non-take up of benefits 32. should be shared widely and there may explore savings in their environmental orOnce the potential local multiplier effect be opportunities for regional campaigns maintenance services which may makeof this money circulating within the local to raise awareness of different benefits. improvements difficult to achieve.economy is calculated the loss to the It is important that this work is linked Housing is an issue which, althoughregion is nearer £1-1.5 billion per year. into the child poverty agenda within local occupying a relatively minor role in theA report for One North East in authorities and other large employers new national child poverty strategy is oneSeptember 2009 highlighted a number across public, private and voluntary which local authorities in the North Eastof issues for the North East in relation sectors where possible. The localisation are aware can have an effect on familyfinancial inclusion33. The report suggested aspects of the welfare reforms again life. High energy prices are also likelythat out of 2 million adults in the region: put local authorities at the centre of to have an impact in the region, which discussions and action around household has the highest percentage of fuel poor• ust over 1 million have J income and expenditure. households in the country. no savings account• Over 477,000 have no bank account A report by York University in 2009 highlighted that most local authorities• 260,000 have been refused credit in the North East had ‘much better• ver 1 million individuals have no O housing than would be expected’ given home contents insurance their levels of child poverty 35 although 29. 32. 34. analysis/jun_2010/0809_Publication.pdf uk/download_documents_pdf. 35. w 30. cfm?file=asset20110405042223.pdf ChildPovertyNE.pdf tax-credits/cwtc-take-up2008-09.pdf 33. 31. Ibid Documents-hvstr.nsf/0/765873885 C63E4328025760400418E10/$file/ Enhancingfinancialinclusion.pdf
  12. 12. 13CONTINUED...this largely applies to the role of social Improving healthhousing in the region. With a nationalpolicy focus on ‘supporting the private and well-beingrented sector to grow’, local authorities Children in the North East are among the The work of the ‘You’re Welcome’ will want to ensure that these high least healthy in the country and living in project 42 that was carried out withstandards are maintained. poverty is strongly linked with a number young people in the North East will beThere are other ways of improving of health issues. In a paper written for important in ensuring that health servicesthe environment without making the North East Child Poverty Regional take the needs and views of childrenphysical changes and a number of the Advisory Group in 2009, Professor and young people into account whenpriorities relating to this theme identify Jonathan Bradshaw noted that ‘on health designing and delivering services. Thethe need to change the social and it is striking how many areas in the NE profound impact that poverty and lowemotional environment of disadvantaged are doing much worse than would be income has on health is already wellneighbourhoods. This includes measures expected given their material well-being known and relatively uncontested. Weto reduce incidences of anti-social rankings’ 38. This report also noted that have known since Victorian times thatbehaviour and crime with hoped for other sources of health data, such as poverty affects health and so eradicatingoutcomes including reduced fear of CHIMAT 39, portrayed a similar picture. poverty must be central to any attemptscrime, lower insurance premiums, higher to improve the health outcomes of Donald Hirsch and Professorhouse prices and greater community children and young people. Dannycohesion. Nick Spencer have written that: Dorling illustrates this graphically when ‘Poverty is the greatest preventable threat to he writes:There is some evidence that a number ofthe services that currently address some health, and tackling it is fundamental to Unfortunately, we will always suffer fromof these issues are some of those that are addressing health Inequalities and boosting child mortality, but there is no good reason,being disproportionately affected by the life chances’ and that the other than because of our greed and ignorance,current cuts to public sector budgets, for those mortality rates to be higher for evidence has profound implications for publicnot least because some of them are not children from poor families 43. policy. It suggests that effective action to tacklestatutory services. For example, work child poverty would make an important long-carried out by the LGA suggested that The transferring of the Public Health term contribution to many health-related policyservices for young people would be agenda to local Health Wellbeing objectives, including reducing obesity, reducingexpected to ‘receive a proportionally Boards, alongside commissioning heart disease, increasing breast feeding andlarger savings target for the current arrangements for Health Visitors and improving mental health.40financial year 36 School Nurses, presents local authorities Not only does child poverty affect health and their partners with an excellentWork carried out by Children North opportunity to prioritise the health and during childhood, but it also affectsEast in 2011 with children and young adult health as well. In a separate paper well-being of children and young peoplepeople from across the region identified drawing on over 70 different studies, in the new health landscape.that poor housing was the greatestand most recurring issues for young Professor Spencer argues that:people growing up in poverty 37. The it is now clear that poverty and low socio-wider environment was the second economic status in early life adversely affectmost common issue identified in the health in ways that transmit across time andparticipatory photography project they contribute to poor adult health. In other words,carried out. Transport and the lack of poor social circumstances in childhood aresocial activities or ‘places to go’ also associated with poor health both in childhoodfeatured highly. itself and in adult life 41 36. 40. w 43. you think you know about Britain, So 37. Intergenerational_Links_between_c D. Dorling, 2012 child-poverty 41. 38. Childhood_Poverty_and_Adult_Hea pubs/1876/ 42. 39. uploads/2010/06/Your-Welcome- aspx?QN=CHIMAT_HOME Participation-Toolbox-Final.pdf
  13. 13. 14CONTINUED...‘Child poverty proofing’local authority and partnersstrategies and plansThe previous Labour government was utilising other partners workforces suchexplicit that ending child poverty was as education and/or housing. Children‘Everyone’s business’ and it is important North East are developing a programmethat corporate or partnership policies of work around the concept of ‘poverty-or strategies not closely linked to child proofing the school day.’45poverty do not unintentionally prove One local authority identified ‘childto be counter-productive in efforts to poverty proofing’ existing and newaddress it. strategies and plans as a priority toThe effects that growing up in poverty ensure that all areas of local authorityhas on children’s chances and outcomes business considered the implicationsin adult life – and the cost to society - of their work on children living indemonstrate that responsibility for ending poverty. Existing Equality Impact Needschild poverty should not rest solely Assessments and other service deliverywith Children’s Services departments planning frameworks or corporate riskwithin local authorities. In a number of management processes could be adaptedlocal authorities, the responsibility for to include ‘child poverty’ as an extraco-ordinating the work to tackle child consideration, without the need for newpoverty resides with different functions processes to be developed.or services. Some authorities have There is also potential to include Childallocated lead responsibility to a Chief Poverty related training and informationExecutives or Corporate Policy team to into existing training programmes such asassist the mainstreaming of child poverty employee induction and in-house trainingthroughout the organisation, whilst in courses without requiring significant extraother areas lead responsibility sits with resources. The Children’s WorkforcePartnership Teams which strengthens the Development Council produced aview that child poverty won’t be resolved training module on ‘understanding,by the council alone. recognising and responding’ to childA recent example of partner poverty, which is now available on theorganisations working to tackle child Department for Education website.46poverty on a ‘Healthier, Wealthier A training session for schools governorsChildren’ project in and around Glasgow around child poverty and the pupilfound that training and supporting an premium is currently being piloted inearly years workforce such as midwives the North East.and health visitors resulted in estimated However, given that the availability andfinancial gains of nearly £3million in a 15 accessibility of ‘good’ work is central tomonth period for pregnant women and ending child poverty, it is important thatfamilies at risk of child poverty44 . Similar employers and not just employees areprojects could conceivably be delivered engaged in efforts to tackle child poverty. 44. 45. 46. maximising_opportunities_final_ inc_getasset.php?srcpath=..%2F..%2F..%2F publications/standard/publicationDetail/ evaluation_report_of_the_hwc_project type=fileid=2976 Page1/SP225/0911
  14. 14. 156. POLICYPotential Policy OptionsRaising Aspirations Improving / Re-focusing Improving Access to Workand Achievement around Early Intervention / Reducing Worklessness1. Local authorities could consider 4. Local authorities and their partners 7. ocal authorities could consider how L a focus on ‘realising aspirations’ could consider the benefits of an to encourage and support employers or ‘raising attainment’ rather than ‘Early Intervention’ approach across in the region to implement family ‘raising aspirations’ as there is little the life cycle and not just in the early friendly employment practices, using evidence of low aspirations (either or foundation years, which was the their procurement and commissioning child, parental or community) being a focus of the Field and Allen Reviews. arrangements to promote these factor in low educational attainment. practices. 5. Commissioning of new or different2. Focusing on what works in raising services across local authority 8. vidence provided by employability E achievement or attainment, the boundaries is already being explored initiatives, including national child introduction and expansion and the evaluations of these models poverty pilots should be included in of the Pupil Premium and the could be shared, where appropriate. the design of local interventions and Academisation programme offer new programmes to support people back opportunities to work with schools Local authorities could consider 6. into work. in understanding what interventions arrangements to share information work well for children from on their approaches (including 9. Local authorities should consider the disadvantaged backgrounds. developing an evidence base) to monitoring of local labour markets commissioning and delivering Early as an integral part of their work to3. Local authorities could consider Intervention projects using mainline tackle child poverty, where this is not working collaboratively, and with funding. already happening. relevant researchers and research networks, to better understand 10. ob creation initiatives within the J the ‘state of the region’s children’, North East should promote the including understanding the effect creation of quality jobs wherever of the economic climate on the possible, noting that work does not wellbeing of young people in the always offer a route out of poverty. North East.
  15. 15. 16CONTINUED...Financial Inclusion Providing Family / Improve HealthInitiatives / Maximising Child Friendly and Well-beingHousehold Income Neighbourhoods 17. ocal Health and Wellbeing L11. ocal authorities, their partners and L 14. ew ways of maintaining and, where N Boards could consider making the other large employers should consider possible, improving disadvantaged improvement of the health of children how they can support alternative neighbourhoods should be explored in their area a priority for their work, sources of credit such as credit unions in light of significant pressure to local noting the position of the North East’s through, for example, the provision authority budgets, including working children in health terms relative to for payroll deductions for employees with different agencies and local the rest of the country. or ‘opting in as default’ schemes with residents. 18. onsideration could be given to C social housing tenants. 15. nderstanding which environmental U developing a set of regionally agreed12. ocal authorities should explore L factors have the greatest impact on ‘Children’s Life Chances Indicators’, ways of working with and raising children’s lives through research incorporating the national measures awareness amongst other employers and consultation with residents will and relevant and significant local to involve them in increasing the take help to increase the success of these measures. up of in-work benefits amongst their initiatives in relation to mitigating the employees. impact of poverty on children’s lives.13. ocal authorities and other public and L 16. ousing providers and regulators H Child Poverty Proof local voluntary sector organisations should should continue to work together authority and partners consider ways of improving the to ensure that, wherever possible, strategies and plans welfare knowledge and signposting the condition and supply of housing ability of their employees so that in the North East helps to mitigate, 19. ocal authorities should consider L people who may be entitled to rather than worsen, the effects of ways to ensure that ending child benefits are given appropriate and poverty, with a particular focus on poverty is everybody’s business timely advice and support. This fuel poverty. across their organisation and that need not be limited to the children’s all strategies and plans support this workforce and is particularly aim. Poverty proofing corporate important given the significant documents and plans and including welfare reforms that are planned. child poverty in Impact Assessments are possible options here. 20. onsideration could also be given C to the development of a regional training programme, including sessions to be used for inductions, ‘brief interventions’ and impact assessments, for example, to support the above recommendation and ensure a well informed regional workforce .
  16. 16. 177. CONCLUSIONSThe Guidance produced by the CPU 47 As new measures are introduced more Decisions regarding the implementationon Part 2 of the Child Poverty Act work will be required to understand the of localised elements of the welfarenoted that: effect these changes have on people. The reforms, the priority setting process introduction of Universal Credit in 2013 within newly formed Health Wellbeing‘the responsible local authority will want to will, in the words of the government Boards and the potential for agreeingagree with partners how and when to publish, strategy on child poverty ‘support those Living Wage policies are three areas thatreview and revise the assessments in line who do the right thing, who take a full spring to mind as areas where there iswith their local needs, so that these can usefully time job, to have an income which some degree for local decision making toinform the timely preparation, review and lifts them out of poverty.’ 49 But there take place, but there will be more.revision of local child poverty strategies’ are not enough jobs for everyone, let(emphases added) In summary, and as this report and alone full time jobs and, again, there the Child Poverty Needs AssessmentsSome local authorities have developed a is a geographical imbalance in the and Strategies that it is based on, hasprocess where their CPNAs are updated creation of new, well paid and secure hopefully shown, there is a lot that localand monitored regularly as new statistical jobs, which does not favour the North authorities and their partners can do toinformation becomes available. Other East. Recent news regarding job losses reduce levels of child poverty throughauthorities are in the final stages of at long established employers in the local action.agreeing their first CPS whilst others region such as Alcan, BAE, Direct Linealready considering reviewing and and Peters Cathedral Bakers demonstraterefreshing their existing strategies. how difficult it is to support existing companies, as well as trying to attractA number of recent independent analyses new investors in the North East.suggest that child poverty levels are setto rise in the coming years as a result Many of the policies that can help toof austerity measures and public sector tackle child poverty, such as benefitreforms, many of which are yet to be levels and minimum wage levels areimplemented. In particular, the reforms developed nationally. However, theto the welfare state are predicted to coalition governments focus on localismhit families with children harder than and decentralisation does provide localother groups. The North East has authorities with the opportunity to adaptbeen identified by the TUC as ‘one and deliver some of these policies inof the hardest places to find work in their own way and to develop new onesthe country’ 48 , revealing the differing which go beyond those developed ingeographical impact of these economic Westminster.situation. 47 48 49 files/doc/g/guide%20to%20part%202%20 21415-f0.cfm publications/standard/publicationDetail/ of%20the%20child%20poverty%20act%20 Page1/CM%208061 2010.doc
  17. 17.  Improving partnerships, knowledge and outcomes