By Christine Carlin, Director Scotland

One in four children in Scotland was living in poverty before the pandemic. We’ve heard this a million times before the coronavirus outbreak and what feels like a million times since.

Families are coping with job insecurity, lost income and rising household costs on top of increased anxiety, diminished physical and emotional wellbeing, and loss of social support, leading to loneliness. Those already experiencing poverty have been hit the hardest, while those on the edge are being pulled even deeper. Recent evidence show a severe effect on child poverty if we fail to act. While we do not yet know the full economic impact of this pandemic, the emerging picture is grim and reflects what we have witnessed as we have continued to support families through this crisis.

Despite swift, bold and much welcomed measures to mitigate the effects of this crisis from its outset, the Scottish Government is far off course to achieve its interim child poverty target. The Resolution Foundation projects that without ‘substantial Scottish or UK policy changes’ the number of children in Scotland living in relative poverty could rise to over 29% after the pandemic, up from 23% in 2018.

We must not let this pandemic reverse what progress has been made. With more families now at risk of sliding into poverty it is imperative that decisive action is taken now to ensure that all families’ basic needs are met.

We know from experience that families need all kinds of support – practical, emotional and financial. Home-Start Scotland is proud to support the End Child Poverty coalition’s manifesto for the upcoming Scottish Parliament election. It offers an ambitious and necessary plan not just to keep families afloat now but to reduce child poverty in the longer term. We join members of the coalition in urging all political parties to foreground tackling child poverty by:

  1. Building on the Scottish Child Payment
  2. Bolstering current support provided to children in low income households
  3. Ensuring crisis support is adequate and accessible
  4. Guaranteeing holistic whole family support is available to all families needing help
  5. Supporting migrant children and caregivers
  6. Setting out a child poverty focused labour market

Read the manifesto here 

End Child Poverty Coalition Scotland


Action for Children

Barnardo’s Scotland

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland

Children 1st

Children in Scotland

Close the Gap


Home-Start Scotland

One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS)

Oxfam Scotland

Parenting Across Scotland

The Poverty Alliance

The Trussell Trust

Save the Children