Our Secure Futures for Children and Families project asks the question: What does a social security system that provides a secure future for children and families look like? Through a programme of roundtable events with different audiences, four citizens’ juries, and a series of written contributions, we have explored this question in detail. This report brings together what we learned from these activities.
The motivation behind the project is simple. The social security system, which is one of the ways that we as a society protect children from poverty, is not working. Child poverty has risen to a record high. Cuts to the social security system over the past 10 years, which have hit children and families particularly badly, have been a driving force behind rising child poverty.
Our starting point for the Secure Futures project was a set of principles which set out what we believe a social security system should achieve. Three central principles: preventing and reducing poverty, providing income security, and promoting social solidarity, have been our guiding light through this project. They have helped us identify where the current system is falling down, and what change is needed.
Bringing together the learning from the project to date, this report provides an analysis of some of the key approaches to providing financial support to families via the social security system, how they play out in the current system, and their strengths and weaknesses when measured against our principles.
Designing a better social security system for the future will be a collaborative effort. We hope that our Secure Futures project will make a valuable contribution to the conversation about the future of the social security system, alongside the voices of other researchers, academics, policy makers and those with lived experience of poverty.
Over the coming months we will map out a blueprint for a better social security system, and the building blocks that are needed to get us from here to there.