No records of families affected by bereavement in UK
FOI request reveals that bereaved children are effectively invisible to the Government
Life Matters task force calls for better support for those affected by bereavement
17 November 2017: Just seven months after the government cut the benefits available to bereaved UK families, the Life Matters task force reveals that there is no central record of the number of children affected by the bereavement of a parent.
The alarming revelation comes as a result of an FOI request asking for the number of children bereaved of a parent in the UK, to which both the General Register Office and the Department of Work and Pensions stated: “The information is not held by the department.”
This information has been released by the Life Matters task force, which came together in April 2017 in response to the significant changes to bereavement benefits. The changes will leave 75% of UK families affected by bereavement worse off financially than they would have been under the old system, with the average working widowed parent losing out on over £12,000.
To coincide with Children's Grief Awareness Week, the task force - which includes WAY Widowed & Young - is introducing its six recommendations for policymakers on how best to support those affected by bereavement – both emotionally and financially.
The recommendations include:
Member of the Life Matters task force and author of The Grief Survival Guide, Jeff Brazier, says:
“When the Life Matters task force came together earlier this year, it was because we knew that more needed to be done to support families across the UK who have suffered the bereavement of a parent or loved one.
“These recommendations provide a realistic plan of action through which policymakers can address the issues faced by bereaved families and pave the way for a better future for the next generation affected by the loss of a parent.”
Also released by the Life Matters task force this week, is a video featuring a number of children affected by bereavement appealing to their local MP on what more should to be done to help others in their situation.
To view a copy of the video, or review a summary of the recommendations from the Life Matters task force, click here.
Life Matters – the task force for bereaved families
Life Matters, the task force for bereaved families, came together in April 2017 in response to the changes to bereavement benefits.
Supported by comparethemarket.com, Life Matters has come together to improve the support available to bereaved families in the UK and to give a voice to the thousands of bereaved families across the UK.
Members of the Life Matters task force include:
Key facts about Government changes to bereavement benefits