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Families in crisis in the UK

On Monday 6 April, Save the Children launched its “Family in Crisis” grant scheme. We did this in response to the fact that low income families, who were struggling before the recession, are being pushed even further into poverty due to rising prices of food, bills and other essential goods.

As Colette Marshall, the Director of UK Programmes, stated in her comment piece in the Guardian:

“Save the Children is no stranger to giving out urgent help to those in need – but this week is the first time we have had to do it in the UK. We didn’t take this step lightly, but families in crisis need our help. And they need the government’s more.”

Although some members of the general public are critical of parents for ‘getting themselves into this mess’ or ‘having children they can’t afford’, they’re forgetting that no one can predict the future. Marriages and relationships break up, people lose jobs, no one knows what the future holds and any one of us could find ourselves in this situation. Playing the blame game doesn’t benefit the ones that need our help – the children.

Lack of material resources for parents and children has direct consequences on children’s education, housing, health and sense of self-worth. Raising the incomes of the poorest families will have the most immediate and significant impact on the life chances of millions of children in the UK.

This is why Save the Children is part of the Campaign to End Child Poverty and why we are calling on the Government to invest at least £3 billion in child poverty in the Budget on 22 April.

If we want to break the poverty cycle then raising the income of families in poverty is the place to start.

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