Local child poverty action reports: year 4 review - 2021 to 2022

This research publication summarises key trends and actions undertaken by local areas to reduce child poverty over the period April 2021 to March 2022 so that key learnings can be shared and lessons learned.


The Scottish Government has made the reduction of child poverty across the country a national priority. Following the introduction of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017, local authorities and health boards were given the statutory duty to produce annual Local Child Poverty Action Reports (LCPARs).

These LCPARs are authored jointly by local authorities and health boards and are intended to describe actions taken in the previous year, and those planned for the future.

This review summarises key trends and actions reported in LCPARs for the period April 2021 to March 2022. This was the fourth and final year of the first Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, Every Child, Every Chance.

As the country emerged from coronavirus restrictions, 2021/22 also marked a turning point in the health and welfare outlook of the country, allowing for the gradual resumption of normal services. Besides the lingering effects of the pandemic, 2022 has also seen the emergence of further challenges to the Scottish Government's aims to reduce child poverty. Primarily these have come in the form of sharp increases in the cost of living in the United Kingdom. Originally mainly driven by fuel and food costs, inflation has risen sharply and outstripped the pace of wage and benefit rises. Though the LCPARs are intended to cover the period from April 2021 to March 2022, many reports were submitted later in 2022 and the cost of living crisis is often mentioned as a key barrier restricting progress of child poverty reduction actions.

Structure of the report

The rest of the report is structured as follows. After setting out the research approach, the next two chapters collate findings on two key themes identified. First, we explore governance and collaboration structures in place for child poverty reduction. Second, we explore the use of data and evidence in informing actions taken by local areas.

The following three chapters focus on action across each of the three drivers of poverty: cost of living, income from social security and income from employment. In those chapters, the individual efforts of local areas as well as the services available and the organisations involved are explored. The final chapter concludes.

Within each of the chapters examples of actions taken are mentioned to illustrate ways that local areas are working particularly well to tackle child poverty. These examples are intended to be illustrative, and as such should not be taken as demonstrating the full range of actions being taken by local authorities and health boards across Scotland.


Email: socialresearch@gov.scot

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