Children are at a greater risk of poor metal health in households in debt.
A recent study conducted by The Children’s Society estimates that there are 2.4 million children living in households with debt problems in England and Wales.
There were a wide range of effects identified in the society’s Damage of Debt report. These ranged from children missing out on social events like school trips, sporting events and family holidays to being unable to afford the things that were considered normal by their classmates.
Children might also be living in households where argument about debts are commonplace.
Some of the leading debt charities are pushing the government to implement a legally binding “breathing space” for those in debt and unable to afford to repay them. This would effectively put a stop on any creditor action for a period, giving time to decide on the best course of action. It has also been suggested that this would greatly benefit families that suffer from income shocks, short term and often temporary reductions in income such as a redundancy or an unexpected bill.
A government spokesman said: “The number of children living in workless households is at a record low, but we know financial difficulties can put pressure on the entire family, including children, so we want to do more.
“That is why the government-sponsored Money Advice Service spends £45m a year to help people with free debt advice which helped to deliver 380,000 free face-to-face sessions.
“This is backed up by our historic £1.4bn investment into improving children’s mental health services and we are supporting schools to teach children about mental health and wellbeing.”