ADCS supports the work that CPAG and CWIP are undertaking together to investigate the scale and impact of child poverty in England, through a survey of frontline social workers working with children and families. We are particularly interested in changes over time (any differences you have observed in levels of child poverty over the time that you have been practising as a social worker) and any practical examples you can provide to demonstrate how child poverty impacts on your work with children and families.

We would appreciate approximately 10 minutes of your time to complete the following survey. The results will be analysed for our learning and to inform the work of our organisations, for example through policy, research and advocacy activities. The analysis may also be published in a report or briefing.

The deadline for responses to the survey is Friday 6 March. 

Confidentiality: all responses will be anonymised and aggregated to provide England wide and, if sufficient responses are received, regional results. With your permission, it would be helpful to link your response to the local authority or area where you work, so that we can consider responses alongside the local context, for example levels of local deprivation.

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* 1. Your details

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* 2. Please indicate your preference regarding confidentiality (see intro text)

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* 3. To what extent do you see the following factors affecting the children that you work with? 

  Not at all A little Somewhat Very much Don’t know / unable to say
Low income / poverty
Food insecurity (e.g. running out of food, unable to afford good quality food, dependence on food banks or friends)
Homelessness or poor quality housing (e.g. damp, overcrowded, unsafe homes)
Inability to keep warm at home
Financial/debt-related  worries and stress

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* 4. Please briefly explain your answers, and if possible give examples of how you see these factors affecting children and families that you work with.

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* 5. In a typical month, please estimate the proportion of children and families that you see that are affected by one or more of the factors above.

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* 6. In the last few years, have you noticed any change in the prevalence or severity of the factors mentioned above amongst the children and families that you work with?

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* 7. Please briefly describe any changes you have noticed.

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* 8. Have these factors and their cumulative impacts (poverty, homelessness, unsuitable housing, food insecurity or financial/debt-related stress and worry) impacted on your ability to work with families effectively? If so, how?

For example, parents and carers may not have the material or emotional resources to work closely with social workers to bring about change - e.g. they may not be able to afford the cost of transport to attend meetings, or their own physical and emotional wellbeing might present a barrier to positive engagement (e.g. due to stress, social isolation or conflict within families resulting from financial difficulty).

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* 9. There have been a number of changes to the social security system (benefits system) over the last decade which have reduced the financial support available to families with children. Examples of changes include the benefit freeze, the two child limit, and the benefit cap. Have you observed these changes affecting families that you work with?

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* 10. Please briefly describe the effect on children and families you have observed, if any.

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* 11. Public services for children and families, including schools, children’s centres, libraries, child and adolescent mental health services, and youth services have faced budget cuts in recent years, reducing the amount of support that is available to children and families in most communities. Have these changes impacted on your work with children and families? Please give examples if you are able to.

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* 12. Is there anything else you would like to add?

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* 13. Would you be happy to be contacted regarding your answers?

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* 14. Would you be interested in finding out more about CPAG / CWIP work on child poverty and how you can get involved?

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* 15. Please provide an email address if you are happy for us to contact you.

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