Tackling child poverty and health inequality in London

Over a quarter of London's children live in poverty. We want this to end.

Working in partnership to tackle child poverty

Over 600,000 of London's children live in poverty - that is before housing costs are taken into account. These children experience disadvantage and deprivation, suffering from poverty of income, as well as poverty of aspiration and opportunity.

While child poverty exists to this extent in London, London's children, wider society and the London economy will not reach their full potential.

To tackle this problem, a concerted effort is needed from all involved in delivering children's services in London, including staff, local and national government, public services and voluntary and community sector organisations.

Child poverty is unacceptable, but it is not inevitable: with the right support and opportunities families can escape poverty.

To end child poverty in London we need to help the poorest families to raise their incomes as a result of parents entering and progressing in work where they can and accessing appropriate financial support.

Many of the key interventions are in the hands of central government and a key message from the Commission that the Mayor has raised with the new government is that preventative spending in areas of proven, long-term effectiveness will avert more expensive, remedial work in children’s health and criminal justice services in the future.

Find out more about child poverty in London (external website)

Improving children’s health

Through his Health Inequalities Strategy, the Mayor is committed to working with partners on areas including young people’s emotional health and readiness for learning, and improved access for young people to sexual health, drugs and alcohol prevention services.

The Mayor is concerned at the great variability in access to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) across London. Parents are often unaware of different support available and, when they do know or are referred, they often discover there is a shortage of services in their local area. There may also be gaps in services for young people with complex behavioural problems who commit crime.

Supporting children’s confidence and self-esteem are important as outcomes in their own right, as well as helping them achieve better at school, develop good life chances and reduce risk of involvement in crime.

Find out more about tackling health inequality