08 October 2021

Committee learns about actions taken to tackle poverty

Examples of progress with tackling poverty in Aberdeenshire were shared with the council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee.

The council has a legal requirement to highlight to the Scottish Government what actions were taken to reduce child poverty in Aberdeenshire over the last year and explain what measures will be carried out over the next 12 months.

A report to the committee outlined the work undertaken by the council and its partners in meeting the challenges of reducing child poverty during the Covid-19 global pandemic. Here are examples of best practice.

Barnardos TRIBE offered anxiety management, wellbeing coaching, and support to 24 young people. The programme has assisted a young person to find employment as well as offering employability training to other young people, which has increased their skills and helped them progress.

The Foyer Families programme is delivered by Aberdeen Foyer and began online in February. It is a person-centred 16-week employability and personal development programme delivered part-time during school hours. It is aimed at parents of children aged under 12 who are either unemployed or in employment but are experiencing in-work poverty. Childcare and travel costs are provided to maximise take up. The programme is currently taking place online but eventually it will be delivered in community centres or hubs.

There have been several positive impacts highlighted through evaluating the council and its partners’ approach. These include increased household income for those living in poverty and those at the highest risk of poverty; improved social mobility and engagement with the employment market in Aberdeenshire; improved employment conditions and household income for those experiencing in-work poverty; increased health, wellbeing and educational attainment and action that is likely to result in children and young people living poverty-free as adults.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “The council is committed to working with our partners to remove the barriers poverty can put in place so that everyone living in Aberdeenshire can thrive. The skills gained by parents and carers will allow them to enter the world of employment or advance up the career ladder resulting in a better quality of life for them and their families.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “I would like to thank our partner organisations who have worked with us to provide support to those who need it most during the global Coronavirus pandemic.”

The report will be considered by the Communities Committee at an upcoming meeting.

The report is available in full by visiting https://committees.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/committees.aspx?commid=494&meetid=19868

You can also watch a webcast of the Education and Children’s Services Committee by visiting https://aberdeenshire.public-i.tv/core/portal/home