The 31 child poverty indicators cover a wide range of information including areas such as health, housing, education and community safety. Of the 31, sufficient data is available for 22 indicators, of which 11 have changed for the better, with a further 10 showing little or no change. The only indicator to have shown a deterioration, is that of the number of children living in workless households. This might be expected, given the context of the recession.
The main improvements have been in the field of education with the numbers of both young people and adults gaining qualifications increasing. Other improvements include a reduction the numbers of people living in B&B and temporary accommodation and a reduction in the number of children killed or seriously injured in road accidents.
Dr Gibbons said
“I am extremely pleased that this set of child poverty indicators are showing improvements. They demonstrate the impacts of the actions we and our partners have been taking to tackle child poverty. Poverty impacts on children and young people in different ways. It is not just about income. We want all children and young people in Wales to have access to experiences and opportunities and not to be disadvantaged by poverty. The improvements over three different subject areas are therefore very welcome.“
“The importance we attach to tackling child poverty is clearly illustrated by the way we have used our new legislative powers to introduce The Children and Families (Wales) Measure, which was passed by the National Assembly earlier this month and will place a duty on specific Welsh public bodies to identify and take action to assist in the goal of eradicating child poverty by 2020.
“This is particularly important as eradicating child poverty will require strong partnership working with the UK Government and with our partners in the public and third sectors, as well as across departments within the Assembly Government itself.“
Education Minister Jane Hutt said:
“Tackling child poverty is a priority for the Assembly Government and underpins all of our policies and programmes.
“We are investing millions in programmes at all stages in a child’s life, from Flying Start and Cymorth which provide high-quality early years childcare and support through to RAISE programme which targets pupils at schools with the highest proportion of deprived students.
“I’m delighted that our investment is paying dividends with this encouraging data showing significant improvements for pupils’ results, school leavers and adult learners.
“Giving children from disadvantaged backgrounds the life chances and experiences normally denied to them is central to our efforts in trying to eradicate all forms of child poverty.”
24 November 2009