4 million children live in poverty in the UK, one of the worst rates in the industrialised world

A group of teenage girls

This means that children are considerably more likely to live in poverty than adults. It’s not necessary, it’s not acceptable, and we can do something about it.

Growing up in poverty can blight children’s well-being and their future life chances. For example children living in poverty are more likely to have poor physical and mental health and less likely to achieve their potential at school and in employment.

Try our calculator to get an idea of what the poverty line looks like for a given family type in any year from 2000 to the present.

Our policy team works to lobby and influence decision makers, so that disadvantaged families are supported and enabled and have the access to services they need to escape poverty and give their children the best start in life.

Policy priorities

Our main policy priorities are:

  • Problem debt
    We are exposing the impact of problem debt on children. Our joint report with StepChange reveals the true scale of problem debt for children and families – and the huge impact it is having on families. Our policy work supports our campaign, The Debt Trap
  • Warm homes
    We are working to ensure that every child lives in a warm home
  • Welfare reform and Universal Credit
    Enabling parents into work and providing vital support for children in poverty with the introduction of Universal Credit
  • Free school meals

Free school meals are intended to provide children with a proper meal when food may be tight at home.

Guaranteeing that families with disabled children are sufficiently supported to meet the extra costs associated with raising a child with a disability

  • Early years
    Ensuring that key early years services engage with the most disadvantaged, hardest-to-reach families, and that children are not born into poverty