How many children live in poverty in Wales?
Around 30% of children in Wales are living in poverty. 26% of children in working households live in poverty.
What is the research on child poverty in Wales?
A recurring theme in our Ambitions for Wales survey showed us just how concerned about poverty children and young people in Wales are.
45% of children aged 7-11 told us they worried about having enough to eat, and a significant number of children and adults worried about other costs related to basic needs.
From the Trussell Trust, we’ve heard stories of a child arriving at their school with a single carrot for lunch, and a child crying because they had holes in their shoes and had to use paper to fill them.
Other research and relevant information
There are also reports, research, and articles from many others, including:
- A report by the Senedd’s Equality and Social Justice Committee on child poverty in Wales
- The Bevan Foundation – Report Archive page
- The Trussell Trust – Resarch and advocacy page
- Children in Wales 7th Annual Child & Family Poverty Survey Findings Report
- Unicef – Child Poverty in the Midst of Wealth report
- Nesta Cymru – New Ideas to Increase Uptake of Free School Meals
Child Poverty Strategy for Wales 2024
In January 2024, the Welsh Government published a new child poverty strategy, outlining its priorities and objectives for reducing child poverty.
It followed a consultation period in which the Children’s Commissioner and others had called for the strategy to include clear targets and measurable outcomes.
Children’s Commissioner’s view on the child poverty strategy
The Commissioner, along with several other organisations, is deeply disappointed by the published strategy., believing it does not match the gravity of the situation facing children and young people in Wales today.
The Commissioner has been clear in her view that the strategy must include:
- a comprehensive Action Plan and monitoring framework which sets out targets and measurable outcomes
- the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child’s concluding observations
It is not clear how the strategy will translate into tangible actions and how or when they would be delivered, making it more difficult to hold accountable.
The Commissioner is also calling for Wales to replicate the Scottish child payment; an initiative giving families additional support to lift them out of poverty.
Following our Child Poverty Summit in November 2023, food poverty in Wales remained a consistent theme and a key concern for the Commissioner.
We will continue to engage widely with stakeholders and the existing evidence to inform our plans to tackle this area of concern. This information includes:
- Welsh Government Impact assessment on free school meals
- Welsh Government data on free school meals for primary aged children
- Wrexham TCC #NoHungryLearners campaign
We have also gained insights through meetings with stakeholders including:
- The Trussell Trust
- Bevan Foundation and their upcoming research with children of families with no recourse of public funds
- A survey conducted by parents in a local school in North Wales
If you’d like to hear more about our work on child poverty, including food poverty, or share any information that you think might help us shine a light on the problem, please get in touch with us.