6 Tips to Ensure Your Children Never Go Without

Providing for children’s basic needs is a fundamental responsibility of parenthood. However, many families face financial and other challenges that make this difficult. This article offers tips and information on seeking support to ensure your children never go without.

Seek Government Assistance

If you are struggling to provide for your family, there are government programs that can help. Key options for parents and foster carers in the UK include:

Fostering allowance – If you foster a child, you’re entitled to a weekly sum of money to help pay for the child’s living expenses. Rates vary based on the child’s age and circumstances. Additional allowances may be available for children with disabilities or other needs.

Child Benefit – Most people responsible for raising a child in the UK can claim Child Benefit, which is paid every four weeks. 

Utilise Food Banks and Charities

Food banks and charities can help provide free groceries and other necessities for people who are struggling. Locate your nearest food bank through the Trussell Trust website and check if you meet the eligibility criteria. You may also find charities that offer grants or items like school uniforms and household goods.

Save Money Where Possible

While government help is available, also focus on cutting household costs wherever you can. For example, switch to cheaper utilities, take advantage of free school meal schemes, use public transport to save on fuel, buy generics instead of name brands at the supermarket, and more. Small savings make a difference.

Develop a Financial Safety Net

Work towards developing personal financial savings to use during difficult times. Even small regular contributions to a savings account build security for when unexpected crises occur. Foster carers could also ask if additional exceptional expense payments are available in emergency situations.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Many parents feel embarrassed about seeking support, but providing for your children is nothing to feel ashamed of. Don’t let pride stop you from accessing help, whether from the government, charities, friends or family. If you take steps to get support early, you can prevent situations where children have to go without or suffer hardship.

Leverage Community Resources

In addition to government and charitable assistance, also tap into resources that exist within your local community:

Schools – Talk to administrators about support programs, free meals, clothing/supplies assistance and fee waivers.

Religious Institutions – Many churches, mosques, temples and synagogues have outreach programs to help struggling families.

Nonprofits – Various nonprofits focus on child and family assistance, such as clothes closets, free classes/activities, job training, parenting support, etc.

Peer support groups – Connecting with other parents and foster carers can provide moral support and exchange of information on accessing help.

Buy nothing groups – Groups like these enable people to exchange free goods and services to cut costs.

Ensuring children’s needs are met requires effort, planning and often external support. But with the right information and willingness to ask for help when you need it, parents and carers can prevent children going without even basic necessities. Support exists, so reach out.

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