Wales Plan To Beat Child Poverty

Wales sets out today to take children out of poverty. Poverty scars the lives of too many children in Wales.

An new website to help councils lift children out of poverty has been launched by Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, Dr Brian Gibbons.

The website offers support and advice services to councils and their partners ranging from a self assessment toolkit for monitoring success in tackling child poverty to guidance in developing statutory children and young people plans.

Training modules for elected members will also help them understand the causes and effects of child poverty and how local authorities can work with other organisations to tackle the issues.

The bilingual site is the first of its kind in Wales and has been developed by Save the Children in Wales and the Welsh Local Government Association and funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Launching the toolkit the Minister said: “Tackling child poverty is at the very top of our agenda for this third term, it is fundamental to future prosperity of Wales and to the health and well being of its people.

“Local authorities and their partners are at the forefront of our shared aim of reducing child poverty and improving the life chances of our most disadvantaged children and young people.

“By working in partnership across the public sector in Wales I am confident that we can make further progress on what is an issue of social justice.

“This website will not only help local authorities to understand their role but also measure how they are progressing in tackling child poverty, learn from each other and determine what further action they need to take. I hope that local authorities across Wales use this website and work with their local partners to develop policies that will make a real difference to the lives of our most disadvantaged children and young people.

Eleri Thomas, Interim Programme Director for Save the Children in Wales said: “Poverty scars the lives of too many children in Wales. Save the Children believes that local government and their partners are key to helping the UK and Welsh Assembly Government meet the child poverty target of eradicating child poverty by 2020.

“This website is the first of its kind in Wales and will help local councils and their partners to meet the challenges of tackling child poverty locally.”

Cllr Russell Roberts (Rhondda Cynon Taf), WLGA Improvement spokesperson said: “Every child in Wales deserves the best start chances in life and the opportunity to live life to his or her full potential.

“Tackling child poverty is a key priority for every council in Wales and this toolkit shows local authorities’ seriousness and commitment to ensuring the best possible outcomes for the most vulnerable children and young people across their communities.

“Furthermore, it is an example of real partnership working at its best with all partners working towards the same goal in delivering responsive services for those people who need them most.”