Protecting children from the effects of poverty

Our report shows a clear need for the government to improve financial support for low-income families following the coronavirus crisis.

Even before the pandemic, many low-income families were finding it hard to make ends meet. Now, due to job losses and rising household costs, even those who were coping are struggling.

Read the executive summary


What we did

We analysed application forms submitted to our Coronavirus Emergency Fund, from March 2020 to July 2020. We found key trends among families in need of help.

We also looked at the findings of a survey of our frontline staff, who have continued to support children and families through our services during the pandemic. 

What we found

  • 29% of our fund was spent on food for families.
  • 37% said that the pandemic had led to financial pressures due to the increased household costs associated with having all the family at home full-time.
  • 21% had seen at least one adult lose their job or have their pay cut.
  • 30% were struggling to access enough welfare benefits to meet their daily living costs.
  • 86% of staff surveyed thought that the crisis had left the family finances of children they work with worse off.
  • 78% of staff reported that the pandemic was having a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the children they support.

What needs to change

We’re calling for the government to increase financial support for families. We want the Chancellor to announce in the Autumn Budget that Universal Credit will not be cut by £20 a week from April 2021. We’re also asking the government to develop and put in place a strategy to reduce UK child poverty.

Young people’s reflections on our report

We asked young people to tell us what they thought about the findings of our report. They shared their ideas on what's needed to protect children from the effects of poverty.

Read our young people's report


End Childhood Crisis

Over four million children in the UK are locked in poverty. Support our End Childhood Crisis campaign and you’ll help give vulnerable children a safe and happy childhood. Your donations will help us deliver life-changing support for thousands more children and families.

Donate now

Sign our petition

Millions of children are living in poverty in the UK. And many more are at risk, due to the impact of coronavirus. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has already given temporary financial support for struggling families. If this support is taken away from these families, some could fall further into poverty.

Sign our petition to the Chancellor, urging him to continue this support.

Sign here