Suzie Scott
Everyone’s Children Project Manager 

Everyone’s Children have been involved over the past year in developing Glasgow’s Local Poverty Action Report (LCPAR). Suzie Scott, Everyone’s Children Manager describes the third sector contribution.

The Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 sets out ambitious targets for the Scottish Government to significantly reduce child poverty in Scotland by 2030. The Act also places a duty on local authorities to work together with health boards to develop, produce and deliver LCPAR. In Glasgow, this involved key staff from Glasgow City Council, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS and the Health and Social Care partnership, along with partners such as Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Glasgow Life and Clyde Gateway. There were also Third Sector reps from CPAG, OPFS and Everyone’s Children.

Everyone’s Children helped to facilitate wider engagement with third sector organisations through priority-setting and briefing sessions with Glasgow’s Child Poverty Coordinator. These were attended by a wide range of local organisations, with experience of working on areas with high levels of deprivation.  The Child Poverty Co-ordinator also worked with a panel of community activists, with lived experience of poverty.

The report was approved by Glasgow City Council at the end of June and describes what actions have been taken to address child poverty and outlines plans for new and innovative efforts to reduce child poverty. The plan is available to read here.

Causes of Child Poverty
A range of factors causes Child Poverty, including:

  • Low wages, part-time work and zero hours contracts
  • Being out of work: Households in which no-one is in paid employment are most likely to experience poverty, with 73% of children in workless households in the UK experiencing poverty
  • Inadequate Social Security Benefits: Welfare Reform; the benefit and Universal Credit have all contributed to the increase in child poverty

The Scottish Government sets out the drivers of child poverty as income from employment, cost of living and income from social security benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Levels of Child Poverty
The levels of Child Poverty in Glasgow are amongst the highest in Scotland. Glasgow currently has 38,000 children living in poverty: one in every three children (34%) of children in the city.  Some areas have much higher levels of child poverty than this: in Parkhead and Dalmarnock over 40% of children live in poverty.

Households who are most likely to suffer child poverty are:

  • Lone Parents
  • Households with a disabled child or adult
  • Minority Ethnic families
  • Larger families
  • Families where the mother is aged under 25 years.

 

 

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) are also a factor in child poverty levels. Poverty can increase the impact of negative experiences and diminish families’ ability to recover from adversity

The Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that child poverty, without any additional intervention both locally and nationally, will continue to rise. The forecast is that around 50,000 children in Glasgow (42%) will be living in poverty by 2021.

What Glasgow’s Third Sector is doing to tackle child poverty

The Action Plan outlines a wide range of ways in which the third sector is working to tackle child poverty, in partnership with statutory agencies.

Employment

One Parent Families Scotland delivers employability programmes for Lone parents and Rosemount Young Parents’ Project supports young parents aged 16-24. The Pathfinder Programme run by DRC Youth Project and WorkingRite support young people aged 16-25 to find employment.

Developing child-minding in Clyde Gateway is a multi-agency initiative involving Children in Scotland; the Scottish Childminding Association and the CHANGE Project to provide employment opportunities by training 20 local parents in the East End to become registered child-minders.

Cost of Living

Within education the Cost of the School Day report, produced by CPAG with support from the Child Poverty Group had a major influence on schools and has become a model of good practice across Scotland.

The follow-up – the Cost of the School Holiday Report – identified holiday hunger as a major issue – as families struggle with the extra costs of meals. The Glasgow’s Holiday Food Programme –enabled 97 third sector organisations to provide food to over 14,000 children, along with free or low-cost holiday programmes in summer 2018. The programme is continuing in 2019.

The PEEK Street Play programme provides play and social activity for children and young people in a wide range of local community settings including schools.

3D Drumchapel’s Baby Basics & Toddler Togs is a free service for parents to request equipment for babies, toys for children 0- 5, and clothing for all ages, including adults. Run by volunteers, they stock donated good-quality pre-loved items and can try to source items for families on request. Items can be requested from across Glasgow.

Balornock Uniform Bank recycles good quality, donated school clothing for low-income families who obtain them for free at pop-up events at schools and community venue locations promoted by social media.

South Bookbug runs sessions in schools and community centres in Glasgow’s Southside to improve the lives of children and families, through weekly storytelling and singing sessions and free books.

Access to benefits

The Council funds a range of third sector organisations that provide financial inclusion and money advice services through the GAIN network. Specific child poverty work includes the Deep End Money Advice Project to embed financial, housing, social security and debt advice in GP surgeries and health centres in areas with high levels of deprivation. Greater Easterhouse Money Advice Project (GEMAP) deliver the on-site advice service.

The Child Poverty Outreach Project is a partnership between the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership and Money Matters money advice to provide mobile money advice for low income and vulnerable families.

The Calton Child Poverty Network is scoping out opportunities for new GCC and third sector services in the Carlton areas. The Network includes Bridgeton Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Calton Heritage and Learning Centre, Child Poverty Action Group, PEEK and St Mungo’s Academy.

Family Support

Glasgow’s Family Support Strategy seeks to reshape current provision to better support parents and families underpinned by core anti-poverty principles as well as practical support, parenting and nurturing, and parent’s emotional and mental health.

There are over 60 third sector organisations providing family support in the city, funded by Integrated Grant Fund, Big Lottery, Children in Need etc providing tailored support to children and families. This includes income maximisation, budgetary skills, healthy cooking, etc.

The Glasgow Families Together Project (a new consortium including Barnardo’s, Quarriers, Home-Start Glasgow North, Glasgow East Women’s Aid, Rosemount Lifelong Learning, GeezaBreak) will work closely together with Education and Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership to support families who don’t meet the threshold for statutory intervention. The work will include income maximisation.

Summary

The Child Poverty Action Plan makes the significant contribution of the Third Sector clear. The meetings we held with the sector demonstrated the interest and willingness of Third Sector agencies to continue to engage on this issue – and third sector organisations who responded to the Everyone’s Children evaluation said it was a top priority. The sector also shown it can respond quickly and

flexibly to emerging issues – the Glasgow Holiday Food Programme is an excellent example of this.

However, there are constraints. Currently, the European Social Fund (ESF) funds organisations (mainly from the third sector) deliver support to people with multiple barriers who are furthest removed from the labour market and who need specialist intervention. However, this funding is threatened by Brexit – and it is not clear whether there will be replacement funds.

Glasgow City Council also provides funding through the Integrated Grant fund (IGF) to the third sector to support communities with a range of programmes and activities: around £20 million in 2018-19. However, the IGF programme is being reviewed. From 2020 new funding arrangements will be in place and funding will be directly linked to the council`s strategic priorities. Responding to poverty, deprivation and inequality are key aims of the draft proposal. It remains to be seen how this will translate into practice.