Tackling child poverty a priority

TACKLING child poverty in Thurrock was made a major priority in the borough at last nights (Wednesday) meeting of the ruling Labour cabinet.

A special report highlighted the dire circumstances some of the residents live in:

Among the alarming stats were:

Fifth of children in Thurrock live in poverty
Total number of children living in poverty may be as high as 8220
6/20 wards account for half children living in poverty
55% of children in Tilbury Riverside live in poverty.
Only 50% of workforce qualified to at least NVQ Level 2
Unemp rate risen from Dec 2007 of 3.4% to Jan 2010 7.5%

The cabinet recommended the Thurrock Child Poverty Strategy which had as its main aims to:

To increase parental employment and skills by providing access to adult training and skills development and progression to adult learning

· To increase benefit take up by providing high quality advice and guidance, targeted to areas where there is a high prevalence of poverty and workless households.

· To improve attainment and reduce attainment gaps between those children living in poverty and those who do not, by targeting school improvement to those areas and supporting parents to be able to support their children through, for example, adult learning opportunities.

· To reduce the health inequalities faced by some families by developing a targeted, integrated approach to local delivery of services.

· To prevent homelessness from occurring by addressing the underlying causes of homelessness through effective partnerships, collaboration and the co-ordination of services.

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