Social Justice

Kids are more worried about homelessness than terrorism or the environment

Action for Children survey warns of impact of social pressures on children following cuts to children’s services

screen time

Poverty and homelessness are among the social issues that kids are most concerned about according to a new survey that found families fear childhoods are getting worse in the UK.

The Action for Children/YouGov study asked 5,000 children and adults if growing up in the UK has got worse over time following drastic cuts to children’s services since 2010.

The charity previously warned that a 62 per cent cut in early years service spending had seen the number of kids using Sure Start centres in England drop to 1.8 million.

That is one of the factors that is behind the results of the survey, with 62 per cent of grandparents, 60 per cent of parents and a third of kids warning that it is a worse time to grow up in 2019 than in past years.

“Adult issues” also have an impact – 91 per cent of kids, some young as 11 years old – feel the social pressure from political turmoil while poverty and homelessness are chief among those issues.

Half of all the kids surveyed put people living on the breadline as their top worry, even beating terrorism (49 per cent), the environment (48 per cent) and Brexit (38 per cent) while inequality like sexism and racism was a concern for 41 per cent of children.

The age-old top issue bullying remains a worry while there is a discrepancy the other way, with adults more preoccupied with screen time when it comes to kid’s issues. Children, on the other hand, were more concerned with pressure at school.

Action for Children’s chief executive Julie Bentley warned of a “childhood crisis” unless a National Childhood Strategy is implemented by the government.

“Our research shows children worry about poverty, homelessness and terrorism and the vulnerable children we work with every day are facing traumas like domestic abuse or neglect, going hungry or struggling with their mental health, without the support they desperately need,” he said.

“For the past decade, the government has been asleep on the job when it comes to investing in our children. The next prime minister must wake up to this growing crisis and put our children first.”

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Energy bills are set to fall but UK families have already lost £72bn to 'staggering' prices
energy bills
Energy bills

Energy bills are set to fall but UK families have already lost £72bn to 'staggering' prices

Abuse survivor tried to take her own life after years-long battle with DWP over disability benefits
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
Department for Work and Pensions

Abuse survivor tried to take her own life after years-long battle with DWP over disability benefits

Poverty costs the UK billions each year. Politicians must commit to ending it this general election
Trussell Trust food banks
General election 2024

Poverty costs the UK billions each year. Politicians must commit to ending it this general election

DWP under investigation over treatment of ill and disabled people after deaths of benefit claimants
Department for Work and Pensions

DWP under investigation over treatment of ill and disabled people after deaths of benefit claimants

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know