On April 22nd, researchers, young people, policy makers, and social workers came together at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK. The conference “Responding to children’s views on child poverty” aimed to bring together knowledge about child poverty and its perception among children and young people directly affected by it. Through the involvement of young people, especially the Children’s Commission on Poverty by YES Forum’s member The Children’s Society (TCS) the participants received valuable insights into the topic. Prof. Tess Ridge (University Bath) and Prof. Griet Roets (University of Gent) shared their research results and talked about future plans.
Child poverty is a massive problem not only in the UK but in every EU country. It increased since the financial crisis hit and austerity measures were implemented. Children living in poverty are stigmatised in school, their access to quality education is impaired, have poor health and not much hope for their future. During the final debate, Jim Davis, head of Community Participation at TCS, reminded the participants that “we should not stop thriving for better living conditions for children and young people in poverty even if changes do not come immediately. We should furthermore include young people into all parts of our work.” As a conclusion, the speakers, including MEP Julie Ward, agreed that society should stop seeing children living in poverty as a burden but recognise the potential and resources they have.
The YES Forum strongly believes in the valuable contributions young people can bring to society in general, as well as to their own communities and advocates for their meaningful inclusion in all stages of decision-making. This is our guiding principle in the project ‘Our Life. Our Voice. Young people and poverty’. Through this project, together with project partners from 5 EU countries, we are exploring young people’s attitudes towards poverty.
For further information on the project and how the TCS experienced the conference, visit the project’s website.
For further information on the conference, please click here.