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Children and young people living in poverty: COVID-19 needs and policy

Children and young people living in poverty: COVID-19 needs and policy

Liz Todd, ECLS

VOICES is a co-produced regional consultation to understand the challenges that children and young people face in the context of Covid19 disruption, particularly in economically-disadvantaged areas of the North East. VOICES addresses the UK's serious knowledge gap in understanding the needs of children and young people (CYP) aged 5-18 living in poverty, an issue exacerbated by Covid19. The project is managed and delivered by Children North East and Newcastle University’s Centre for Learning and Teaching. Our co-production approach builds on our networks across the North East to find out what children and young people’s lives are like now, and to communicate this to policy leaders and practitioners of organisations working to provide educational and social support. Our co-production methodology uses the specific methods of: a multimodal survey, focus groups (primarily online), and creative arts methods to involve children and young people in making comics and video that communicate their views on what life is like now, what they are struggling with, and what help they think is needed. Our primary focus on children and young people’s own views is supported by interviews with practitioners working in schools and community organisations, and with policy leaders making decisions about organisational responses to support children and young people. We will revisit these organisations to investigate how young people’s views have impacted on practice. We will engage policy makers in acting on the findings and will disseminate findings using comics and videos that have been co-designed with young people. Our reach includes Redcar & Cleveland, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Durham, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Stockton, Newcastle and Northumberland. Case studies of practice and policy change will be shared nationally as good practice examples.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences