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Give children a fair chance this election year! - Barnardos

4 July 2014

Barnardos says: Give children a fair chance this election year!

Today is Founder’s Day, the birthday of the Barnardos charity founder Dr Thomas Barnardo. Dr Barnardo created the Barnardos charity in 1866 to feed, clothe and educate UK children facing extreme deprivation.

Some 150 years later, there are still far too many children living in poverty – 285,000 Kiwi children are living with too little money to afford the basics that we as a society take for granted. At Barnardos, we see the negative impact of poverty on the children and families we work with every day. We support thousands of families each year through our child and family services, and of these:

• Nearly 40% have issues related to housing and income
• Nearly 20% are dealing with children’s health problems
• More than 1,800 are facing family violence
• For Māori and Pacific children, these negative statistics are even higher.

“Child poverty is a key political issue that people will think about as they head to the polls this year, and I’m delighted that there is a real desire to solve the problem”, says Barnardos Chief Executive Jeff Sanders. “We can’t delay dealing with it any longer. The personal and social cost is too great.”

This election year, Barnardos is advocating for the post-September Government to put children first. This means putting in place policies to ensure all children can live in a house which is safe and warm; access healthy food and affordable health care; and have a household income that ensures equitable outcomes.

To mark Founder’s Day, Barnardos is launching its latest Impact Report, which tells the story of the difference we make for children in Aotearoa. It details how we support, challenge and empower families, communities and society to make Aotearoa New Zealand the best place to be a child. You can read it here: http://www.barnardos.org.nz/about-us/publications/2014-impact-report

Jeff says, “As New Zealand’s largest provider of children’s services, we’re here for all children, including the most vulnerable. But wouldn’t it be great if, in another 150 years or hopefully far less, every child in New Zealand was happy and thriving and there was no need for our social services? I believe that, if children are placed at the centre of policy, a brighter future is possible for all children.”

About Barnardos New Zealand
Barnardos is New Zealand’s leading provider of children’s services. It helps thousands of children, young people and families each year, with services such as parenting courses, family support, counselling and supervised contact. We also work directly with children who have experienced family violence, provide residential and foster care, and run 0800 What’s Up, New Zealand’s largest dedicated child helpline.

www.barnardos.org.nz

ENDS

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