Ministers urge London agencies to sign ‘pledge’ to end child poverty

Ministers are urging every family-centred service across London to appoint a child poverty champion in a bid to lift 400,000 children in the capital out of poverty.

The government is encouraging the capital’s children’s centres, schools and job centres to commit to the “London pledge”, a set of specific initiatives designed to raise families’ incomes and lift themselves and their children out of poverty.

Key area

Ministers launched the pledge yesterday after earmarking London as a key area in their campaign to halve child poverty by 2010 and eradicate it by 2020. It comes with the government’s child poverty unit developing a specific target for London.

The city has the slowest-falling rates of child poverty, with inner London rates at 31%, above the national average of 22%. A total of 400,000 children in the capital still live in poverty.

Consultation needed

In addition to appointing a lead member of staff, agencies should become “exemplary employers”, by providing attractive job opportunities for parents with family-friendly conditions.

Children and their parents should be consulted on the design of services while professionals should improve partnerships with other agencies to reduce bureaucracy and delays in the delivery of services.

“Unique set of problems”

Children’s minister Beverley Hughes said: “London has a particularly high level of child poverty and a unique set of problems, which make it harder for Londoners to step out of the poverty trap.

“Common influences include a lower employment rate than average, particularly among lone parents, mothers in couples and disabled parents. These problems can only be tackled through a concerted effort by services in London, working together to be truly responsive to the needs of whole families.”

Organisations wishing to sign up to the pledge should contact the government’s child poverty unit. In October, all signatories will be invited to join ministers and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to share their commitments.

Related articles

DWP: Child and pensioner poverty on the up

Labour to target early learning and development in drive for social mobility

Expert guide to child poverty


More from Community Care

Comments are closed.