Help for Sheffield families to take benefits

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The number of children in poverty in Sheffield is above the national average according to new figures.

Now an action plan has been drawn up to tackle the problem.

Sheffield Council, charities and public health bodies have been working on the strategy.

The action plan proposes that the council will be in charge of efforts to tackle the problem.

Work will focus on ensuring benefit reforms, such as the bedroom tax, do not make the problem worse – as well as ensuring families are receiving the benefits they are entitled to.

A report to the council said: “The aim is to ensure that families have easy access to information and advice on all their entitlements, from maternity pay to benefits.”

According to an interim report, about 27,000 youngsters aged under 18 are living in poverty – equivalent to 24.4 per cent of children and young people in Sheffield.

The national average is 21.3 per cent.

However, Sheffield is doing better than many cities – with the average proportion of poverty-stricken children in England’s eight largest cities standing at 31.3 per cent.