In the Netherlands, there are on average two children per class who grow up in poverty. Children living in poverty experience stress, especially if there are also debts involved. They experience less support from their parents, more uncertainty and exclusion and see fewer prospects for the future (Ombudsman for Children, 2017). Growing up in poverty hinders children and young people in their development. Poverty occurs everywhere, which means that many professionals - consciously or unconsciously - have to deal with it. Professionals can play an important role in combatting child poverty.

To help professionals deal with children and families in poverty, Annelies Kassenberg (professor Youth & Living Environment) and MariĆ«tte Lusse (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences) have developed three guidelines together with professionals, researchers, experience workers, parents and children.

The guidelines contain concrete methods and tools to Signal poverty in children and to Support and Stimulate children and families living in poverty (SOS for child poverty). There is a guide for education, one for the social domain and one for the youth health domain (launched October 2021).


  • Dealing with poverty in schools
  • Dealing with poverty in schools, breaking the chain
  • Dealing with child poverty in the social domain
  • Dealing with poverty in youth health
  • Dealing with money worries of MBO (vocational college) students

The bridge officer at school

The bridge officer bridges the gap between school, child and family and ensures that children can continue to participate and develop their talents. By identifying problems in the home situation at an early stage and doing something about it, the concept has a preventive effect and contributes to equal opportunities for all children.