Parents worry more about their children's future than their own
A fear of homelessness stalks Scots’ parents with one in three fearing they could lose their home as living costs increase.
New research published by children’s charity Barnardo’s reveals the latest impacts for families who are struggling financially.
It also found that almost half (49%) worry about keeping their home warm for their children and more than one in seven (16%) parents say their children have had to share a bed with them, their partner or a sibling during the winter months, because they cannot afford another bed.
Worryingly, one in 14 parents (7%) say they are still having to share beds right now.
The YouGov poll of 1,010 parents of children in the UK aged 18 or under also revealed that half (49%) worry about their children missing out on experiencing a normal childhood due to them having to make cost-of-living cutbacks. Nearly one in four (23%) have recently struggled to provide sufficient food for their children due to the cost-of-living crisis.
The charity has supported families where children were sleeping on cushions on floors, parents were having to limit the number of their children’s baths and turn the heating off, and parents resorting to forgoing proper meals and eating their children’s leftovers instead.
This is despite the families saying they have received cost-of-living payments, warm home discount and cold winter payments.
One emerging issue is about families who cannot provide a bed for their children to sleep in, or have been unable to afford to replace beds that are broken, or bedding to keep children warm.
A Barnardo’s Scotland project worker in Inverclyde said: “Children of different ages and genders can be sharing a bedroom – that’s not uncommon. Often, you’ll find that parents will give up their bedrooms, and that they’re sleeping on the couch for a number of months – maybe even a few years – to ensure that their children have their own bedrooms.”
Martin Crewe, Barnardo’s Scotland director, said: “Across the country, Barnardo’s Scotland is supporting children who are slipping into poverty as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. Families who once had to choose between heating or eating are now worried about providing warm beds for their children or losing their homes altogether.
“As a charity, we have responded by delivering clothes, appliances and vouchers to help thousands of families with everyday essentials. But we know this urgent support can only do so much.
“Children and young people were hit hard during the pandemic and many are now missing out on the basics.”