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Healthier, Wealthier Children: phase two evaluation

Date: October 2013
Category: Report
Author: Lynn Naven, James Egan

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The Healthier, Wealthier Children (HWC) project was launched in October 2010 and is an innovative partnership project between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), local authorities, voluntary sector organisations and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. 

The project aims to tackle high levels of child poverty across NHSGGC through health and money/welfare advice services working together to develop referral and information pathways for pregnant women and families at risk of, or experiencing, poverty. 

The first GCPH evaluation of the HWC project during the first phase, Maximising Opportunities: final evaluation report of the Healthier, Wealthier Children (HWC) project, was published in July 2012.  The report identified a range of impressive gains for pregnant women and families that included just over 2,500 referrals to money/welfare advice services and financial gain of more than £2.25 million for those accessing this type of advice.

This new phase two evaluation report covers the period from March 2012 to March 2013.  The report focuses on how work to tackle child poverty during the first phase was being embedded across health and money advice services in phase two.  Some of the key findings from this report are:

  • Since the launch of the project in October 2010, a cumulative total of 5,003 referrals to advice services have led to just under £4.5 million in total gain for pregnant women and families across NHSGGC. 
  • There was clear evidence that the HWC project was being integrated across a range of NHS plans, performance reporting mechanisms and strategic groups.
  • At a local authority level, the project was now a part of the Glasgow city commissioned mainstream advice services, and was included within a forthcoming poverty action plan, thus ensuring ongoing local action to address child poverty.

With UK child poverty rates predicted to rise to 24% by 2020, resulting in an additional 50,000 children in Scotland living in poverty, the report concludes by recommending wider adoption of the HWC partnership model across Scotland and beyond, and the need to consider a new fund to promote financial security and tackle poverty.