Child poverty – a real issue for Northern Ireland

Steven Agnew MLA is today (Monday 22 June) hosting an event highlighting extent of child poverty in Northern Ireland.

Steven Agnew MLA said:

“Child poverty is very real in Northern Ireland, with 21% of children living in persistent poverty. This is double the rate for Great Britain.

“I find this unacceptable which is why I am supporting the Viewdigital’s event today”.

The event sees the launch of social affairs magazine Viewdigital’s 31st issue, which is focused on child poverty.  Una Murphy, the magazine’s publisher, has called for effective action to prevent poverty from becoming a ‘life-sentence’ for children.

Steven Agnew said: “All children should receive the services they need to reach their full potential. We must ensure that their basic needs are met and their rights protected.

“I believe there is an opportunity to improve how children’s services are currently delivered, to help children reach their full potential.

“That is why I am seeking to introduce the Children’s Bill, the objective of which is to create a statutory duty to co-operate across all government departments.

“Through this Bill, it is my intention to improve outcomes for children by supporting, enhancing and encouraging co-operation to ensure that children’s services are most integrated from the point of view of the recipient.

• Speakers will include Jane Craven, guest editor of ViewDigital and founder of the Whiterock Children’s Centre
• Paddy Hillyard, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Queen’s University
• Single mum Colette Ansell who found herself relying on charities and foodbanks.

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