Number of children living in vulnerable families to rise to one million by 2015, leading charities warn

 

The number of children living in vulnerable families will see a dramatic rise to one million by 2015 unless urgent action is taken to protect them, three of the UK’s leading charities warn today.

This would be a rise of 13 per cent since 2008 when there were 885,000 vulnerable children in Britain, according to joint research for Action for Children, NSPCC and The Children’s Society which has calculated the impact of the recession and austerity measures on vulnerable children for the first time.

 The report, In the Eye of the Storm: Britain's forgotten children and families, reveals that the most vulnerable families with children will be disproportionately affected by tax and benefit changes and by other cuts in spending.

Children living in the most extremely vulnerable families will be most affected. Although there are currently fewer than 50,000 children living in these families, the number is set to almost double by 2015, to 96,000.  

Overall vulnerable families will be £3,000 worse off each year by 2015 as a result of the Government’s changes.

The report reveals that far more families are struggling with problems such as unemployment, depression, poor quality housing and poverty than government estimates suggest.

Although the government’s Troubled Families Unit was set up to address some of the problems that vulnerable families face, the charities warn that the impact of the austerity on children has largely been overlooked.

Dame Clare Tickell, Chief Executive of Action for Children said: “The Government needs to ensure that children are not the victims of austerity and there is still time to get it right. Children are the future, and it is hugely disappointing that the parents of tomorrow are not being taken care of today. This report clearly shows that children are caught up as the innocent victims in austerity measures, and much more needs to be done to protect them. Through our own services we are already seeing first-hand the damaging effects taking their toll. This report is an opportunity for the Government to take stock of their decisions so measures are taken with children futures in mind.”

Andrew Flanagan, CEO of the NSPCC, said: “We all expect to bear some of the austerity but it seems the most vulnerable children are bearing the brunt.  This will make the job of turning their lives around even harder. Our services are pioneering new ways to support the most vulnerable children but against a rising tide.  We have to act to ensure that tomorrow’s adults do not pay the price for today’s mistakes.”

 Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society said: “The Government’s austerity measures are hitting the most disadvantaged children in our society the hardest. When too many children go to school hungry, have no permanent home or proper shoes, it is clear we are not all in this together. These latest figures make shocking reading and must act as a wake-up call to those with the power to reverse this trend.”

The charities, which together help over 400,000 children, called on the Government to do more to protect children from the effects of the recession, cuts to public services, and major changes to the tax and benefits system.

 They called for integrated policies across government, particularly  housing, health, employment, education and welfare, to give better protection to vulnerable children.

An urgent assessment of how any further spending cuts, or tax and benefit reform, could impact on children is also needed. They also demanded that ministers commit to track and report back on the number of children living in vulnerable families.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk