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Peer Review in Belgium: Children First – pilot local consultation platforms on child poverty

01/01/2015

In May 2014, the Belgian government embarked on funding a year-long pilot project of local ‘consultation platforms’, intended to raise awareness of child poverty, provide parents with information about existing aid channels, and lend support to teachers, care providers and families alike. A study has been commissioned to determine the effectiveness of the pilot platforms. This Peer Review will enable the study’s interim findings to be shared with other Member States.

Host Country: Belgium

Date: January 2015

Peer countries: Bulgaria – Czech Republic –Denmark – France – Greece – Croatia – Hungary – Malta – The Netherlands – United Kingdom

The Belgian government has made EUR 2 million available to the country’s local social welfare organisations to run child poverty consultation platforms at child day-care centres, schools, sports clubs and similar venues. This federal initiative – known as Children First – seeks to reflect the EU Commission’s 2013 Recommendation 'Investing in children: breaking the circle of disadvantage', and the Social Investment Package more generally, by improving coordination between the various people and organisations involved in combating child poverty, by increasing the involvement of parents, children and professional social workers, and by encouraging the exchange of good practice.

The programme is being monitored, and various indicators are being developed to measure the effectiveness of the platforms and to determine whether they can provide an effective local solution to the problem of child poverty. The study’s findings will feed into future policy recommendations.