Cost Of Living Crisis – Impact on Children

Research launched today by Barnardos and Amarach Research

Posted on Wednesday 01 June 2022

2nd June 2022.  Barnardos children’s charity today launched new research, conducted by Amárach Research, which highlights the impact that recent cost of living increases are having on parents and children across the country. The children’s charity details the impact the rising cost of living is having specifically on the families Barnardos works with, from their experience on the ground.  Barnardos is calling on the Government to target additional measures at low income families, including the introduction of a hardship fund, to ensure children don’t go without items essential to their social, emotional and physical wellbeing and development. 

‘All it takes is for one cost to crop up or one thing to breakdown and they are tipped into financial crisis’, Barnardos staff member

Barnardos commissioned Amárach Research to carry out a nationally representative survey with over 300 parents/guardians with children aged 17 or younger living with them. It found: 

  • Almost two thirds of parents (63%) stated they and their children had to go without essentials, such as those listed in the table below, over the past 6 months due to cost of living increases. 
  • Over one quarter of parents (28%) have cut back or gone without heat, and almost one in four (23%) have cut back or gone without electricity.  
  • Over one third stated they have had to cut back on clothes and alarmingly, one in six have cut back or gone without on medical appointments/medicines.  


N= 329 

Activities/entertainment for your children 












Medical appointments/medicines 


No/none of the above 



‘In all my years with this service I’ve never seen so many families getting to the point of being cut off from electricity, having to make choices about what they are going to go with/without this week’, Barnardos staff member 

Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly said, “Seventy percent of parents said that cost of living increases have negatively affected their children over the past six months, and almost two thirds are worrying regularly about being able to provide their children with daily essentials such as food, heat and electricity.  These national findings, and our experience on the ground, tell us that more and more families across Ireland are falling into financial distress.  We are calling on the Government to introduce a hardship fund through the Department of Social Protection where families can go to get support paying essential bills when otherwise their children would go without. At Barnardos we say childhood lasts a lifetime, which is why it is so important for the Government to act now.” 

Barnardos Project Manager Sharon McCormick said: “The majority of Barnardos staff are reporting that the increases are having a substantially negative affect on the health and wellbeing of the children we are supporting. Staff are witnessing families going without and cutting back, being forced to choose between having the heating and electricity on and having food in their cupboards. Children in those households are at risk of living in cold homes and going hungry, and parents who are living in a state of worry or distress may have less capacity to concentrate on parenting.” 

Barnardos provides frontline services to children and their families who are affected by traumatic life situations such as poverty, abuse, parental mental health challenges, neglect, separation, bereavement and parental addiction. The charity offers a range of early intervention and targeted services in our 45 service locations, in family homes, schools, early learning and care settings and communities.  



Notes to Editor:    


Cost of Living Crisis – Impact on Children – Summary

Cost of Living Crisis – Impact on Children – Full Report 

For information on Barnardos services, please contact: 

Barnardos Press Office: [email protected] / 086 0445966