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Exchange Highlights Need for Child Impact Assessment

Rebstock-Angus exchange highlights need for child impact assessment

2nd December 2010
‘Yesterday’s exchange between Children’s Commissioner, John Angus, and Welfare Working Group chair, Paula Rebstock, highlights the need for a child impact assessment of new welfare proposals,’ said Deborah Morris-Travers of Every Child Counts* today.

John Angus had reviewed the recently released Welfare Working Group (WWG) options paper and concluded that children could be the losers from some of the more punitive options. He said there was a risk of ‘penalising the children for the sins of the parents.’

In defending the WWG paper and its options, Paula Rebstock maintained that the proposals would not punish children.

‘This exchange has highlighted the need for a careful and comprehensive child impact assessment of any changes to the welfare system resulting from the work of the Welfare Working Group,’ Deborah continued. ‘Every Child Counts strongly urges the government to ensure that such an assessment is undertaken before it makes any final decisions on further welfare changes in 2011.

‘I am pleased to see the Children’s Commissioner comment on the needs of children in the welfare debate. We need welfare policy that meets their needs and supports the development of families. Conducting a child impact assessment on new policy proposals would help ensure children’s needs are factored into decisions and avoid unintended, negative, consequences from welfare changes.

‘Children are our future. Achieving their full potential is vital to the social and economic future of the country. Deprivation as a consequence of child poverty is known to be a key factor affecting outcomes for children.

‘In reforming our welfare system we can’t afford to get it wrong and end up penalising vulnerable children,’ she concluded.


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