Eurochild to support feasibility study of a child guarantee
Eurochild is part of the consortium that will carry out a feasibility study of a Child Guarantee for vulnerable children together with a team of researchers and experts.
The study aims to examine how a specific funding programme (i.e. a Child Guarantee as proposed by the European Parliament) could contribute to combating poverty and social exclusion particularly amongst the EU’s most disadvantaged children. The study will focus on how a funding programme can improve children’s access to the five key policy areas identified by the European Parliament (i.e. free healthcare, free education, free ECEC, decent housing and adequate nutrition).
The study will first map the situation of children in each EU Member State focusing in particular on 4 vulnerable groups: children in institutional care; children of recent migrants or refugees; children with disabilities and children living in precarious family situations. It will also lay out a clear picture of the causes of poverty and inequality affecting children. The study will also identify best practices and effective ways of delivering policies and programmes and funding initiatives that can help promote a integrated approach to tackling child poverty. There will also be an online consultation as well as focus group consultations with children.
The child guarantee is expected to be funded within the EU budget - inspired partly by the existing Youth Guarantee – in order to help address the high levels of child poverty and social exclusion in Member States. It should also contribute to the effective implementation of the European Commission Recommendation on Investing in Children.
Eurochild’s role will be to provide guidance on the research and to review the outputs. Two of the four thematic workshops are expected to be hosted by Eurochild members in the first half of next year. A final conference to present the recommendations is scheduled for January/February 2020. Eurochild members will be invited to contribute to the online consultation and maybe contacted by the national researchers responsible for the mapping study (see: European Social Policy Network).
The voice of the European Parliament
The European Parliament’s calls for preparatory action on a child guarantee has led to agreement on the need for this study. There is a shared consensus on the need to provide a better future for all children in Europe, especially for those most at disadvantage and a widespread political concern at the persistently high levels of child poverty and social exclusion.
“Europe must deliver: we want free education, accessible healthcare and child friendly housing for all children.”
The Parliament has stressed that the action should ensure that “every child in Europe at risk of poverty (including refugee children) has access to free healthcare, free education, free ECEC, decent housing and adequate nutrition. By covering these five areas of action through European and national action plans one would ensure that the living conditions and opportunities of millions of children in Europe improve considerably and with a long term perspective”.
On 24 November 2015, the European Parliament voted for the proposition to combat child poverty with a Child Guarantee.
The lead applicants for “Study on the Feasibility of a Child Guarantee for Vulnerable Children” are research consultancy Applica and independently-funded research institute LISER - Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research. Eurochild and Save the Children will be sub-contractors.