Effective Systems

Tackling Child Poverty and Improving Child Well-Being: Lessons from Britain


This report, authored by Jane Waldfogel of Columbia University and the London School of Economics, describes the recent efforts of the United Kingdom (UK) to end child poverty by 2020. Over the last decade, the UK government carried out an ambitious and multifaceted anti-poverty campaign – with significant results as they reduced child poverty by more than half. Remarkably, their success in reducing child poverty continued even during the recession, as child poverty fell again in the last year – in sharp contrast to the pattern for the US, where child poverty has now reached its highest level in 20 years.

First Focus, in conjunction with Representative Jim McDermott and the Foundation for Child Development, hosted a Congressional briefing on “Tackling Child Poverty & Improving Child Well-Being: Lessons from Britain.” This briefing was the second in a series of three briefings hosted by First Focus on improving child well-being in America.

At the event panelists discussed how the UK carried out an ambitious campaign against child poverty over the last decade, making significant gains even up through the recession, and what lessons the US might learn from the experience –  – even in the face of limited budgets and the economic downturn.