Posted: 05 April 2019

Talking change: what financial crisis looks like for families and young people

In this month's episode of Talking Change, we explore what financial crisis looks like for families and young people. 

We talk to a councillor, the founder of a foodbank, a service user, and a Children’s Society campaigner about what crisis looks like, the challenges facing crisis support and what the solutions to this problem might be. 

Families in crisis increasingly have nowhere to turn

For families in crisis, emergency funding from councils allows them to buy food, pay utility bills and keep their children safe. This support provides a vital safety net when the worst happens. However, this safety net is at risk.

Due to increasing financial pressure, 1 in 7 councils have closed their local welfare assistance schemes. Two thirds of those that still run schemes have reduced budgets, and the others appear on the brink of closure. 

Where schemes do still exist, tightened eligibility requirements, a lack of information about support, and complex application processes can make it all but impossible for those most in need to get urgent help with paying for the essentials. 

This is happening at a time when the benefits freeze, Universal Credit delays, and increasing housing costs are leaving more families struggling to make ends meet.

As councils struggle to meet demand, foodbanks, local charities and faith and community groups are emerging to plug the gaps. 

Help us strengthen the safety net

The picture is varied across the country but there are a list of actions that councils can take to make sure support is there for those that need it most. 

Our Strengthening the Safety Net campaign is calling on councils across the country to maintain their commitment to providing effective crisis support. Use our interactive map to find out the situation in your local area.


By Sarah Wayman - Campaigns team

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