19 March 2013
A one-day symposium to discuss the disturbing breadth and depth of child poverty, as well as the gross levels of inequality that children face in West Cumbria and many areas in the UK, is being held by University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Applied Policy Sciences Unit.
High profile speakers, including Jamie Reed, MP for Copeland, Maggie Jones, chief executive of Children England and Lord Roger Liddle, Chair of the Westminster-based think-tank Policy Network, will attend the symposium to share their support of UCLan’s project to encourage and empower professionals to proactively support children and their families.
Taking place on Friday, 22 March at UCLan’s Westlakes Campus in West Cumbria, UCLan will highlight findings of the West Cumbria Child Poverty Action Group and the recent and widely publicised figures by End Child Poverty.
Research has highlighted that some interventions may be without solid evidence and show little improvement for children and families living in poverty.
The symposium, which has been organised in partnership with the Whitehaven-based Howgill Family Centre, a provider of community support for children and families living in poverty, will introduce a rigorous research initiative into proactive interventions for at-risk families in communities affected by social and economic change.
UCLan hopes the collaborative research project will lead to the development of a new model of family interventions. This forms a part of a wider APSU programme focusing on the emerging policy agenda around the concept of 'Predistribution', which essentially means identifying what’s good and building on it, rather than identifying what’s bad and attempting to deal with it.
Targeted at those who work with children and families, are involved in community development and are interested in the welfare of children in West Cumbria, it is envisaged that the work the symposium is to discuss will result in an improved quality of life and enhanced social mobility among at-risk individuals, resulting in wider community benefit and sustainable change.
Dr Rick Wylie, Academic Director of UCLan’s Westlakes Campus, said: “Working in partnership with the Howgill Family Centre we hope to address a number of key issues in challenged urban and rural communities of West Cumbria. Poverty is a tragic and enduring reality confronting many children, families, neighbourhoods and communities in our society and we hope that our research is a step in the right direction to solving this problem.”