1 in 5 children worry about their family’s financial status, says new report

A new report has revealed shocking statistics on the financial strain and emotional toll affecting numerous households, particularly affecting the younger generation, as costs of living across the UK continue to rise.  

The Children’s Society’s new report, ‘Feeling the Strain’, showed households are battling not just economic hardships but also issues with wellbeing. 

Among parents and carers, a concerning 25% had low overall wellbeing, a figure that soars to 54% for those in financially burdened households.

Key highlights from the report include:

–  Financial Precipice: 82% of UK parents and carers who took part in the survey expressed concern about the cost of living’s impact on their households in the upcoming year. 

– Drastic Measures: Nearly a quarter of families, from January to March 2023, grappled with financial strain. One in ten (10%) parents and carers told us that they ‘always’ ran out of money before the end of month, and one in seven (14%) reported money running out ‘most’ of the time.

– Childhood Under Threat:  While overall 10% of children (aged 10 to 17) had low wellbeing, this was the case for 16% of those living in households under financial strain, and 1 in 5 children frequently worry about their family’s financial status.

Mark Russell, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: “Behind these statistics are real life stories of families making difficult choices: between heating and eating, between essentials and debt.    

“This hard hitting report shows the impact of the cost of living crisis on family life, and the emotional and psychological toll on children across the land. We passionately believe that no child should lose sleep over their family’s finances.  

“Every child deserves a good childhood and as we head into the winter, these findings should serve as an wake-up call – we need an urgent government plan to lift families out of poverty.” 

The Children’s Society recommends robust measures to address the issues uncovered, including: 

– Increased investment in social security for children. 

– Introduction of an ‘Essentials Guarantee’ to ensure families can afford basic needs. 

– Expanding free school meals to children whose parents or carers receive Universal Credit. 

– The Household Support Fund to be made permanent and act as a safety net whenever families are faced with a financial crisis, with a funding commitment of at least £1billion per year.  

The ‘Feeling the Strain’ report comes at a crucial juncture, urging government, policymakers and stakeholders to acknowledge and address the pressing challenges families and young people face and the need for immediate action to protect their well-being and future. 

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