We’ve got our next working group meeting on Friday and having had a lot of input concerning equalities during our recent Staff Conference I’m looking forward to seeing how we’ve progressed from the last meeting and where we might end up.
photo courtesy jglsongs
For those colleagues reading who are interested in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or unsure youth (or are already doing so) a recent commentator who works here has set up a new blog here. The blog is hoping to support youth workers working with LGBT young people who want to share and discuss youth work issues.
I’m hoping that I’m joining many other blogs today to talk about Poverty. In the guidance for joining Blog Action Day it suggests that bloggers keep their posts related to the subject they usually blog about. So I guess that means I’ll be looking at young people and poverty.
I’ve been wondering what to write about and how to do this so intially I thought that I would start by goggling “youth poverty”. This threw up a number of interesting facts that I wasn’t aware of. In October 2007 the Joseph Rowntree Foundation did some research into youth poverty in Europe. A few of comments that struck me were:-
“Young Europeans in their late teens and early twenties are at a higher risk of poverty than all other groups except for children and older people. The risk of poverty declines significantly in the late twenties.”
“Having children is associated with a greater risk of poverty, especially in the year after birth. This ‘poverty penalty’ is highest in the UK, but in Scandinavian countries having children carries no extra risk of poverty due to their ‘child-friendly’ policies.”
“There are large variations between countries. Poverty rates among 20- to 24-year-olds range from eight per cent in Austria to 30 per cent in Finland (compared with eleven per cent for the whole population). The UK rate of 20 per cent is towards the upper end of the scale.”
I know that this info is a year old but I’m guessing that it hasn’t changed that much in that time span, and the UK doesn’t come out of it too good does it?!? Also in browsing I found out that The National Youth Agency is a supporter of the End Child Poverty Campaign and also carries information on ending Child Poverty on it’s website.
So what are the Key Facts
- 3.9 million children are living in poverty in the UK (after housing costs)
- The proportion of children living in poverty grew from 1 in 10 in 1979 to 1 in 3 in 1998. Today, 30 per cent of children in Britain are living in poverty.
- Since 1999, when the current Government pledged to end child poverty, 600,000 children have been lifted out of poverty.
- The UK has one of the worst rates of child poverty in the industrialised world
- The majority (54 per cent) of poor children live in a household where at least one adult works.
- 43 per cent of poor children live in a household headed by a lone parent. The majority of poor children (57 per cent) live in a household headed by a couple.
- 42% of children in poverty are from families with 3 or more children
For me in practice what I often see is not only the physical poverty that children and young people are living in but stemming from it is (unsurprisingly) a lack of aspiration, a feeling of hopelessness and detachment that pervades their whole lives. So what can we do about it?!?! There’s campaigning as already stated. For me, in my area of work what I’m trying to focus on, as well as dealing with the day to day reality of some young people’s lives, is raising aspirations and looking at programmes and projects that may inspire and support them to see that there is potentially a way out of their current experiences. Following today I will also reflect on what more I can do across the service
After a couple of weeks of enjoying our summer weather (!!) I’ll be writing again as usual in the very near future!
Yep, the MediaSnackers training has persuaded Steve Humphries to start his own blog! I’m really looking forward to hearing more about Steves’ experiences as he works in a part of the youth service which provides targeted and intensive youth support to individual young people, and as such, has a slightly different perspective on youth work to those involved in traditional centre based youth work.
And so our community grows!!!! Here’s to the next Statutory Youth Work Blogger……
….be obsessed by stats but I do find them intriguing. For example today is my most visited day…..and I wonder is this because I know that a colleague has been talking to others about this blog and what I’m trying out or is it because I know that DK over at MediaSnackers has been talking about some of their work (and their 2nd birthday….congratulations) and has posted some info about this or is it just a quirk of nature?!?!?! :)
It’s also really interesting to see what links get clicked on most and what posts get the most visits which in turn lead to lots of questions about who is interested in these links and why!
But hey….that’s not the immediacy of youth work and what I’m getting up to. More about that shortly!