The rapid escalation in energy prices creates particular challenges for families with dependent children living on a low-income. Families need to keep their children warm this winter. However, with household budgets stretched to breaking point, they face enormous challenges in doing so. This rapid response briefing shares findings from the Changing Realities research programme, which works in partnership with over 100 parents and carers living on a low income from across the UK. In the briefing we document the higher energy needs of families with dependent children; needs which are often overlooked by policy responses that favour temporary, flat-rate payments. We provide stark evidence of the hardship families are facing, and the strategies they are forced to adopt in their effort to keep their children warm. We provide insight into the impact and shortcomings of the existing support packages offered by the UK Government.

Changing Realities is a collaboration between parents and carers, researchers at the University of York, and Child Poverty Action Group.
Changing Realities is funded by abrdn Financial Fairness Trust.
Changing Realities' sister project is Covid Realities, which ran from 2020 to 2022, and was funded by the Nuffield Foundation
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