Synthesis report: Children First – pilot local consultation platforms on child poverty

Eurochild took part in the peer review of Belgium's 'Children First' initiative in February 2015

Together with representatives from governments and stakeholders from seven countries Eurochild debated the outcomes of this programme and compared it with national approaches to tackling child poverty.

'Children First' reflects the EU Commission’s 2013 Recommendation ‘Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage’, and the Social Investment Package more generally, by improving coordination, increasing the involvement of parents, children and other local stakeholders, and encouraging the exchange of good practice.

Key messages included in the synthesis report from the Peer Review are:

  • Child poverty cannot be seen in isolation. It is part of the poverty suffered by the households in which the children live, and so it must be tackled through a multidimensional, multi-level policy framework. This is the only way to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
  • Effective drives against child poverty need to be both preventive and proactive and to provide services in a non-stigmatising way.
  • Cooperation among services and institutions does not cost much money, but is essential for ensuring the effectiveness of programmes.
  • The 2014-2020 European Social Fund has ring-fenced 20% of its envelope for social inclusion. Projects aimed at fighting child poverty such as the Children First local consultation platforms are eligible for financial support.
  • The online European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) provides a repository of evidence-based practices in the area of parenting support.

Click here to read the report.