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Tackling child poverty in Wales

27 January 2016

William Aled Jones
Conference organiser: William Aled Jones

Conference presents latest findings

Child poverty levels in Wales continue to be amongst the highest in the UK, with an estimated 200,000 children living in poverty.

A conference in Cardiff this week (29 January) will tackle this urgent issue and present the latest research informing the area.

The Child Poverty in Wales conference, co-organised by Cardiff University School of Social Sciences and Y Coleg Cenedlaethol, will feature contributions from academics, researchers, politicians and practitioners.

Topics covered will include ambition and young people from disadvantaged communities in the south Wales valleys, Welsh medium education in Grangetown, and the effects of poverty on children and young people from rural areas.

Mark Drakeford AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, will present at the conference, and the closing presentation will be given by Sally Holland, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.

Professor Mark Drakeford said: “The Welsh Government’s Child Poverty Strategy affirms our commitment to an effective approach to tackling child poverty in Wales. We are collaborating with local authorities, the third and the private sectors to eradicate poverty by giving all children the best possible start in life.

“We also continue to do all we can to mitigate the effects of the UK Government’s sweeping welfare reforms and austerity measures.

“Lifting people out of and protecting people from harms associated with poverty is at the heart of this government, which is why we have protected funding for Flying Start, the Pupil Deprivation Grant and Supporting People in our Draft Budget.”

Professor Jonathan Scourfield, Professor of Social Work and Deputy Head of the School of Social Sciences, will be presenting his work on child welfare inequalities.

Discussing the topic, he said: “I’ll be introducing a major study that is currently underway to compare child welfare inequalities in the four UK nations. Children in care and on child protection registers are very likely to come from deprived communities.

“This is often taken for granted by social services but there is a strong argument that services should actually be focusing explicitly on tackling economic inequalities.”

“I’ll also be presenting surprising results from research carried out by colleagues in England which found that for any given level of neighbourhood deprivation, children in more affluent local authorities are actually more likely to receive care or have child protection plans than children in less affluent areas.

“So what we are seeing is that although children in more deprived neighbourhoods will show higher levels of need, it may be the case that more affluent areas actually receive a disproportionate allocation of expenditure relative to need.”

Dr Dafydd Trystan, Registrar of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol is proud of the Coleg's support for the event,

"The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol is very proud to sponsor a conference on such an important subject. This is also the first time a conference on this size in social policy has been held entirely in Welsh in Cardiff. It shows the depth of professional and academic interest in social policy and child poverty which is expressed in Welsh. The Coleg is very glad to work with Cardiff University on such a serious subject," said Dafydd.

Conference presentations will be in Welsh with simultaneous translation.

For news from the conference, use #TlodiPlant or #ChildPovertyWales on Twitter.