the following is a brief article for the report released this week by the Children’s Society:
New findings show cuts directly impacting on children’s well-being
The Children’s Society today (Thursday 18 March) warns that the current economic situation is having a major effect on children’s well-being.
In the run-up to next week’s budget (Wednesday, 23 March), the leading children’s charity has released a new report, which found that a decrease in family income is directly related to lower well-being for children.
The report, ‘How Happy are our Children? Measuring children’s well-being and exploring economic factors’, revealed that young people whose family income has decreased in the past year are more than twice as likely to have low well-being than those whose family income has increased*.
The research, carried out in October 2010 and February 2011 with 4,000 young people, is part of The Children’s Society extensive research programme investigating children’s well-being. It also found that:
Social class has a large influence on young people’s well-being. Young people in the lowest social class were three times more likely to have low well-being than the young people in the highest**.
Children whose parents are concerned about the impact of the recession on their family have significantly lower well-being than children with less worried parents.
The proportion of young people with low well-being was significantly higher in households where no adults were in full time work. 16% of young people in households where no one works full time had low well-being, as opposed to under 10% of other children.
The Children’s Society Chief Executive Bob Reitemeier said: “Today’s findings are deeply concerning for everybody who has the interests of Britain’s children at heart. As the spending cuts take hold, the well-being of our children is under threat.
“The consequences are likely to hit the most vulnerable children hardest. We fear that they will pay a life-long economic and social price for current political decisions. It is vital that when local and national government make cuts that affect our children’s lives, well-being must be prioritised, not forgotten”.
The Children’s Society measures the ‘well-being’ of children every three months, in collaboration with the University of York. This is part of the most comprehensive research programme into children and young people’s own accounts of their well-being.
Visit the Children’s Society website here
* Of those in households whose income increased, 7% had low well-being, as opposed to 15% for those in households where income had fallen. Where income hadn’t changed, 10% had low well-being.
** In social class ‘E’ 18% of young people had low well-being, as opposed to only 6% of those from social class ‘A’. Social class makes a great deal of difference to young people’s well-being at each end of the economic scale, while in between these extremes there is little discernible difference.