Within the mapping of future activity it has been organised using the drivers of poverty with key priorities identified by partners at the Child Poverty Summit held on 28 February 2019. This regional event allowed practitioners and partners to co-produce our plan for the future. As part of the reporting requirement particular importance was put on income maximisation activity, priority groups and reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences as detailed below.
Income Maximisation Activity
The Act further requires that, in the context of reporting on activity that has been taken or is proposed in support of meeting the child poverty targets, local authorities and NHS boards must report in particular on:
Income maximisation measures taken in the area of the local authority during the reporting year to provide pregnant women and families with children with:
a) Information, advice and assistance about eligibility for financial support, and
b) Assistance to apply for financial support
The child poverty local action reports present an opportunity for local partners to set out what they are doing to develop and embed models of income maximisation support for pregnant women and families with young children using the learning from models such as Healthier Wealthier Children.
Priority Groups in Child Poverty Delivery Plan
The Every Child Every Chance Delivery Plan identifies a number of priority groups being targeted as particular beneficiaries of the Plan’s commitments:
lone parents: 36% of children in relative poverty
disabled: 30% of children in relative poverty
3+ children: 30% of children in relative poverty
minority ethnic: 37% of children in relative poverty
youngest child under one year old: 32% of children in relative poverty
mothers aged under 25: 36% of children in relative poverty
Living in remote rural locations was also identified as an additional barrier faced by families in these groups and is very relevant for Angus.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
The National Delivery Plan also makes clear that addressing ACEs is a key priority. Although it is important to acknowledge that ACEs can be experienced across the whole income spectrum, living in a low income household is associated with higher levels of ACEs. Children growing up in poverty also have less access to resources which can help reduce the negative impacts of ACEs, such as, sports clubs, leisure activities, and good quality housing and neighbourhoods. Health representatives within the Angus Community Planning Partnership presented to the board on ACEs and this was set as a priority for us to explore and is present within the mapping and case studies.
Dundee and Angus College were successful in securing £185,490 2018/19 under the Reducing Child Poverty National funding to deliver two programmes focusing on the protected priority groups. This project has included increasing the capacity within Angus to support those most in need of support, training and gaining employment.
For 2019/2020 The college aims to further develop this work through an outreach provision which will allow those most in need to get flexible person-centred support which will ensure the best possible outcome for the participant.
Alongside this additional resource Voluntary Action Angus the Third Sector Interface has recently taken over The Cross in Forfar and aim to create an integrated hub which will bring partners together to provide a one-stop shop for local people. This improved collaborative approach will improve engagement with those people most in need and allow greater involvement with services that can help.
It is worth highlighting that since the Child Poverty Act was published there has been a greater emphasis on policy development which will impact on Child Poverty. An example of this is the Housing beyond 2021 consultation – putting poverty at the heart of planning to ensure that we have a housing stock that is not only fit for our demographic challenges but has taken into account transport, access to services, Economic growth and opportunities for the future.