Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Children 'affected by recession'

School trip
Some "optional extras" such as school trips are being cut by some parents

Children are being indirectly affected by the impact of the recession on their parents, the Children's Society warns.

It surveyed a thousand young people online in five age bands from 11 to 25.

Almost half of those aged 11 to 13 said their parents were worried about their economic situation. One in five aged 17 to 19 said they could not find a job.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families said both schools and parents had a role in reassuring children and helping them be happy.

The chief executive of the Children's Society, Bob Reitemeier, said that children were "on the front line of the recession".

He said the recession made it even more important to try to end child poverty.


The answers suggest children from poorer backgrounds are more likely to be affected, but over a third of respondents across all backgrounds said they were aware that the recession was worrying their parents.

School trips and family holidays also appear to be a casualty of tighter budgets, and nearly one in five said they could not go on holiday this year.

However, well under 10% said a parent had actually lost their job.

Fifteen-year-old Patricia said her family felt the impact of the recession on their everyday budget.

"We have to save up our money and not spend it so much on unnecessary stuff," she said.

I worry about them, and if we've got enough money to keep the house
Peter, 14

"I worry a bit.

"I worry that if my mum lost her job, I wouldn't be able to go to college and university.

"I don't think it's going to get better.

"It's going to be harder for people my age to get jobs."

Jamie, who is 13, said his architect father was working later into the evening, and that his family had cut down on luxuries.

And his friend Peter said he worried about his parents.

"I worry about them, and if we've got enough money to keep the house," the 14-year-old said.

Some 29% of those from less advantaged backgrounds said they were receiving less pocket money than in the past.

Those questioned appeared to have considerable awareness of the economic crisis, which, unsurprisingly, was higher among the older respondents.

The vast majority said they knew what the credit crunch was, and a third said they worried about what they heard on the news.

But around 15% said they hadn't been affected by it.

The government is concerned about the proportion of teenagers not currently in education or training - so-called Neets.

Recent figures obtained by the Conservatives showed that in 2007 there were 850,000 young people with no particular occupation.

A spokesperson for the Department of Children, Schools and Families, said it was "disappointing" that some young people were concerned about the economy.

"Parents are clearly best placed to talk to their children about their worries, but schools also play an important role in teaching young people the skills they need to become healthy, happy and confident individuals who are able to discuss the issues that concern them."

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Guardian Unlimited Young 'in frontline of recession' - 48 hrs ago
Telegraph Children are main victims of recession survey finds - 59 hrs ago

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