Child Poverty in Northern Ireland
Published 19 November 2020
“There are 444,000 children in Northern Ireland – 103,400 of these children live in poverty.”
~ Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People.
An alarming number of children and young people are living in poverty in Northern Ireland. BBC NI’s ‘The View’ which aired on 5 November, highlighted the extent of the child poverty and the conditions that our younger generation are growing up in.
Dr Julie-Ann Maney, a consultant in paediatric emergency medicine at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, spoke out on the issue and warned of the “insidious” effects of child poverty. Dr Maney described seeing children so hungry that some are resorting to stuffing food into their nappies.
Dr Maney highlighted that “Poor children are twice as likely to die as rich ones. Deprived children are much more likely to be injured. Due to poor nutrition, we look after children with iron deficiency anaemia, constipation, obesity, dental decay and vitamin deficiencies.”
Unfortunately, this situation is likely to become more harrowing for parents who are already struggling to feed and clothe their children will plunge into a financial crisis in the coming months. From March 2020, many parents may have found themselves in dire straits with unemployment rates increasing and redundancies increasing. These are undoubtedly unprecedented times. As families face more pressures, risks become heightened and support systems are reduced and it is children who are suffering.
At MKB Law, our Family Law team has experience in dealing with families who may find themselves struggling financially and have Social Services involvement. We have experience in dealing with cases where there is Social Services intervention where poverty is viewed as neglect. It is important that parents seek independent legal advice from a Family Law expert as early as possible.
This article is for general guidance only and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional legal advice.