East Midlands: One in five parents too ashamed to seek help with cash worries

SHAME and embarrassment stops one in five (22 per cent) parents in the East Midlands from asking for advice about money problems, according to research published today by Action for Children.
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Guardian News

The survey of nearly 200 parents in the region also showed that one in eight (12 per cent) don’t know where to get help and the same number don’t want to think about their money problems.

David Elliott, children’s services manager at Action for Children in Derbyshire, said: “Families do tell us about increased financial pressure as a result of increased living costs, job losses and benefit changes.

“We have also seen an increased uptake of donated food parcels and requests for referrals to food bank services. Caring for children isn’t easy for anyone and is especially challenging when money is tight.

“It is frustrating for those families who are not able to benefit from the lower prices available on line or through direct debit arrangements. There is no doubt that these increased financial pressures are having a significant effect on the lives of children.”

Emma Horne, UK South director of children’s services at Action for Children, said: “At a time when the cost of living and raising children continues to grow faster than wages, it’s seriously worrying that people are put off seeking financial advice or simply sweeping problems under the carpet. “Action for Children provides advice on managing money through our children’s centres. We know that money problems can be linked to other issues, like unemployment, changes in benefits or escaping domestic violence, but we can support families. There’s no shame in asking for help.”

Action for Children provides free money skills courses at many of its 200 plus children’s centres, and parents can ask staff for help at any of them.