A report published today reveals the damage poverty can have on children living in deprived or more affluent areas.
Living with Hardship 24/7: The Diverse Experiences of Families in Poverty in England by the NSPCC, shows children living in poverty are more likely to suffer health and behavioural problems, get mixed up in street gangs and experience bullying at school. It also found that children as young as five are stressed by their parents’ money worries.
A survey of children that accompanied the report revealed that nearly half of those polled had lost touch with their grandparents after they had fallen out with their parents or because of immigration issues. In 44 of the 70 households studied, there had incidence of child maltreatment such as domestic violence and sexual, physical and emotional abuse.
While children in deprived areas experienced more acute forms of poverty, those in more affluent neighbourhoods were more aware of their relative poverty, because middle-class parents had higher aspirations for their children.
The reluctance of social services to intervene to address children’s behavioural problems was also criticised by the report. It says that poverty had a low priority unless a child was directly at risk from a parent.