We are happy to have strong supporters of The Debt Trap, our campaign to stop debt's damaging effects on children.
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York
Parents living in poverty face incredibly difficult choices. What is to come first? Heating your home or putting food on the table? Many choose to go without themselves so they can provide the basics for their children. Parents want to make the best choices for their family, but low wages, expensive childcare and inflexible jobs make this very difficult.
When the monthly struggle to pay the bills becomes too much, often families think they have no option but to borrow money to provide the basics for their children. We need to make sure families living in poverty have somewhere to turn other than to usury-lenders.
Shockingly, in many of these families one or more of the adults are actually in work. So many of these problems would be eased if workers were paid a living wage.
Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church 2012-14
Drawing upon much thorough and painstaking research, this report makes explicit what has long been suspected: that when a family or single parent falls into debt, the consequences for children can be devastating – materially, emotionally, psychologically and socially.
As a fellowship deeply committed to seeing children grow and flourish, the United Reformed Church enthusiastically commends this report – not only because it clearly describes the present situation but because it suggests practical ways to change it.
Revd Ruth Gee, President of the Methodist Conference
In the last year a third of families with children have had to borrow money for essential purchases such as food or heating. Many families are struggling and need to borrow to get by – and for some debt this becomes a trap which they cannot escape.
This report paints a graphic picture of ordinary families living ordinary lives being driven towards unaffordable dept - debt which can ruin children’s lives. But most importantly this report shows us that with action from the government, creditors and regulators this situation can change for the better.
Rt Revd Terence Brain, Bishop of Salford, and Chair of Trustees, Caritas Social Action Network
Families across the country are struggling: they face incredibly difficult choices between heating their homes and putting food on the table, often parents themselves going without in order to provide for their children.
It is all too easy for families in this situation to think that they have no option but to borrow money, just so they can provide the basics for their children. Yet, for many, debt can quickly spiral out of control and just makes their situation impossible to escape.
Helping families in problem debt has to be part of the Church’s mission to tackle poverty in our own communities.
Revd Stephen Keyworth, Faith and Society Team, Baptist Union of Great Britain
Debt is a hot issue and this work by The Children’s Society places children at the centre of the debate. Not only does this report offer comprehensive new data, it presents us with a pause for thought and a call to action, challenging Christians to work together to enable people to find their way out of the debt trap.
Find out how you can support The Debt Trap