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Side by side against child poverty

Funded by Province of Antwerp
In cooperation with Welzijnszorg Kempen


From until

Safe childhood 

In September 2014, the province of Antwerp kicked off the Safe Childhood project. In this project, together with Welzijnszorg Kempen, we initiated a process in which six Kempen pilot municipalities set up a local policy to prevent and combat child poverty. Those six municipalities were Beerse, Geel, Meerhout, Retie, Turnhout and Vorselaar. Central to these processes was the planned and integrated approach and the involvement of low-income families.


We mapped for all 27 municipalities in the Kempen Region what concrete initiatives have already been taken to combat child poverty. More specifically, we investigated initiatives in the field of financial, material and immaterial support and examined to what extent they meet the criteria of an accessible and preventive policy. We also asked the four Associations where the poor have the floor what measures on child poverty are already being taken and which make a tangible difference for them, and whether there are additional needs in this area. 

Each pilot municipality received intensive process guidance for two years with a view to developing a set of support measures for families in poverty and to arrive at a participatory methodology to tackle and prevent child poverty.


The roadmap 'Side by side against child poverty' tells the story of the pilot municipalities. We hope that this roadmap can also inspire and support other local governments in planning, implementing and evaluating their own child poverty policy. It can be used as a guide, not as a ready-made recipe book. After all, the concrete preparation and implementation of a child poverty alleviation policy differs from municipality to municipality and depends on factors such as the extent and severity of child poverty, the breadth of the local welfare field, the number of organisations that subscribe to this policy and the local administrative capacity. 

What we already learned from all the pilot municipalities is that, as a local government, you have to be ambitious in fighting poverty among families with children, because it pays off.


Nele Peeters

Joined the team in 2012. Fascinated by financial well-being and budget and debt counselling. A headstrong go-getter and an eloquent speaker. 

Research manager

Bérénice Storms

PhD in social sciences. Research manager Centre of Expertise Budget and Financial Well-being