February 15, 2024

2023 Report on Child Poverty

by Jimmy Pratt Foundation

Jimmy Pratt Foundation

Choices for Youth and the Jimmy Pratt Foundation are pleased to announce the release of the 2023 Newfoundland and Labrador Child and Youth Poverty Report Card. This report was written as part of a national initiative coordinated by Campaign 2000.

The 2023 report card is the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to analysis of 2021 tax filer data and 2020 census data, it also consolidates feedback testimonies from community organizations across Newfoundland and Labrador who work directly with children, youth, and their families. This consultation process was supported by the Community Sector Council of NL.
In 2020, child poverty rates fell across Canada and in Newfoundland and Labrador. Government transfers such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) helped families that were on the borderline of poverty achieve dignified living standards.
In 2021, post-pandemic child and youth poverty spiked again, approaching pre-pandemic levels. Most pandemic benefits expired, and many families struggled as they were clawed back. Meanwhile, inflation and interest rates started to climb making the cost of every part of life balloon. As a result, the number of families in poverty increased between 2020-2021, and those in poverty were pushed even farther below the poverty line.

Poverty disproportionately affects marginalized groups in our province. Indigenous, racialized, and newcomer children and youth experience much higher rates of poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador. Additionally, the factors contributing to child and youth poverty for residents in rural communities vastly differ from their urban counterparts. Geographical barriers and infrastructural differences perpetuate a lack of access to resources and support services.

With the introduction of the 2022 Health Accord and the 2023 NL Poverty Reduction strategy, our provincial government has demonstrated a commitment to addressing child and youth poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador. We hope that this report outlines concrete ways that the provincial government can extend child poverty reduction efforts and offer increased support to community organizations.

“Children’s lives in Newfoundland and Labrador are changing, and our report puts that change in context with data and the voices of community organizations from across the province. Family Resource Centres, Community Youth Networks and Women’s Centres are just some of the organizations who see the challenges facing children, youth and families every day. What the data shows is a pressing need for change – toward a just society that helps every child thrive.”
– Neria Aylward, Executive Director, Jimmy Pratt Foundation

“At Choices for Youth, we regularly support youth and young families with complex needs. Addressing child and youth poverty requires a multifaceted approach. Building a better future for children and youth requires investment by all levels of government and sustained support for front-line community agencies who are delivering critical services to young people.
– Nivethine Mahendran, Project Officer, Choices for Youth

 

CSC NL is delighted to support this growing partnership. When community sector organizations collaborate to co-create potential solutions, we are better able to understand and address complex, interconnected societal issues. We need to support sector organizations who are facing increasing demand for services while contending with the decreasing availability of resources to solve challenges like child poverty.”

– Lindsey Hynes, Manager, CSC NL

READ THE report card

PREVIOUS POST