Poverty and safeguarding

Leeds Tackling Poverty Framework

Child poverty has been rising in Leeds and nationally, and latest estimates show that there were just under 35,000 children living in poverty in Leeds – which makes up 23% of all young people (Leeds City Council, (24th June 2020), Executive Board Report: ‘Update on Thriving: The Child Poverty Strategy for Leeds, Summary’).

The comparative lack of resources that people in poverty have can limit their opportunities to engage and access the same opportunities as their wealthier counterparts, this division of opportunities often excludes individuals and can lead to feelings of inadequacy and shame.

In Leeds we have made a commitment to challenging child poverty and reducing the barriers that children, young people and families who live in poverty face. A crucial way that we will achieve this is by ensuring that our practice and the way that we work with children and families as a service supports those that are living in poverty and experiencing poverty-related difficulties. The Leeds Tackling Poverty Framework will support practitioners to better understand the impacts of poverty on children and families and provide guidance on how to work differently and better with those who are experiencing poverty.

 

Poverty, child abuse and neglect

Brid Featherstone, Professor of Social Work at the University of Huddersfield delivered a presentation to Leeds practitioners on the topic of Poverty, child abuse and neglect: Interrogating a 'neglected' relationship.

Brid has extensive experience of researching the issues experienced by families who become involved with child protection services. She is a member of the Child Welfare Inequalities Project and has been involved in researching the relationship between poverty and a child's chances of being removed from their family or becoming subject to child protection procedures. 

The presentation focused on the research literature and the findings of the Child Welfare Inequalities Project, to look at how poverty impacts upon neglect and identifies the barriers to practitioners practising in a 'poverty aware' manner. It explored how more 'poverty aware' policies and practices might be developed. 

A presentation is available on request.