Child Poverty- Supporting Policy Development

What is child poverty policy?

Poverty is a key driver of health inequalities and policies to address child poverty are likely to have an impact on population health.

Between April 2021 and April 2022, 29% of children in the UK (4.2 million) were in relative poverty, according to Child Poverty Action Group - Official Child Poverty Statistics

Focus on child poverty aligns with a key principle for addressing health inequalities supported by population health advocates: Give every child the best start in life (Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On, 2020)

Policy landscape and SIPHER partners priorities

Addressing child poverty is a priority for the Scottish Government, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and Sheffield City Council, demonstrating the importance across local, regional, and national policy contexts.

Systems approaches to child poverty

Evidence on health impacts of policies that impact on poverty are not well understood. 

SIPHER is working with Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland, and Greater Manchester Combined Authority to identify key questions of interest related to child poverty that can be addressed using SIPHER’s suite of modelling approaches and tools.

SIPHER support - tools and approaches

The following SIPHER tools and approaches are supporting an understanding of the impact of policies on key drivers of child poverty and in turn, how these might influence health: 

  • SIPHER MINOS can be used to estimate how policies, which affect disposable household income (such as the Scottish Child Payment) impact on adult mental health. This modelling tool allows insight into the health impacts at the population-level and for sub-population groups of interest (such as the Priority Family Types in Scotland) over time when policies impacting disposable household income are implemented.
  • Inclusive Economy Dynamical Systems model can be used to forecast the effect on child poverty as well as health outcomes, including life expectancy and mental health, and economic outcomes at the local authority level when changes are made to different socio-economic levers within the system.
  • SIPHER Decision Support Tool draws on the models to identify the optimal policy approaches for meeting several key policy objectives simultaneously, such as meeting the child poverty targets in Scotland.

Related resources