Department for Work and Pensions
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Job advisers in children's centres to help parents into work
A new pilot aimed at helping the parents of children in poverty get into work, was launched in ten Local Authorities today. Parents will have access to Jobcentre Plus personal advisers in Children's Centres to help them access work focussed services. The pilot which will run in 30 children's centres from January 2009, was announced today by ministers, Kitty Ussher, Beverley Hughes and Stephen Timms.
As well as testing the impact of putting a full time Jobcentre Plus Personal Adviser into children's centres across ten Local Authorities, the pilot will also test what other support may help parents move into employment. The pilot will complement the existing initiative of providing tax credits advice through Children's Centres, which is being expanded following a successful pilot earlier in the year.
Child Poverty Minister Kitty Ussher said:
"The Government remains committed to eradicating child poverty and around 600,000 children have been lifted out of relative poverty since 1997 with measures including the introduction of the national minimum wage. There are also 50,000 free childcare places are available to help unemployed parents whilst they are training to return to work.
"Work for parents who can, remains the best route out of poverty and we are committed to supporting them to find work, stay in work and progress so that they can build a sustainable future for their families. Making Jobcentres Plus services more accessible will give parents a further helping hand to achieve this goal."
Children's Minister Beverley Hughes said:
"This Government has done much to help lift children and their families out of poverty, and today's announcement shows that we remain fully committed to tackling child poverty through support for families, carers and lone parents to get into work."
"We have introduced almost 3,000 Sure Start Children's Centres across the country. They are a key mechanism for improving outcomes for young children by reducing inequalities, supporting families who need help and giving parents access to a wide range of services. The Jobcentre Plus advisers are an invaluable addition to the Children's Centres existing offer."
Stephen Timms said:
"In Budget 2008 the Government invested £ 125 million into pilots to test new ways to tackle child poverty. The Government understands how important it is to ensure that parents can access support and advice in the most appropriate setting. Having Jobcentre Plus staff available in children' s centres is just one of the ideas we are working on.
"HMRC has piloted new services in Children's Centres to give advice to parents on how to make the most of the support which tax credits provide. This will be rolled out further in the coming months and will include working with Jobcentre Plus. Tackling child poverty is in everybody' s interests and it needs to be everybody' s business; it is only through working in partnership that child poverty can be eradicated."
The ten Local Authorities chosen to test the impact of embedding Jobcentre Plus services in children's centres are: Westminster, Lambeth, Nottingham City, Southampton, Sandwell, Redcar and Cleveland, Somerset, Blackpool, Kingston Upon Hull and Ealing.
Notes to editors
* This pilot is one of a range of initiatives to tackle child poverty announced in Budget 2008 with £125million of funding allocated between 2008 and 2011
* The HMRC pilot was also announced in Budget 2008, and involved HMRC working with the national network of Children's Centres to identify effective ways of delivering tax credits services to families with children under five.
DWP Press Office: 0203 267 5144