Thames Valley Kids In Problem Debt Families

More than 33,000 children in Oxfordshire and Berkshire are said to be living in families stuck in debt.

Across the country, the Children's Society found arrears on energy bills were found to be the biggest source of problem debt, followed by loans from friends and family, bank loans, and council tax.

The charity is calling for changes to how creditors treat families with children who fall behind on bills and repayments as part of its ``debt trap'' campaign.

It wants to see a 12-month ``breathing space'' scheme to give struggling families a period of protection from additional charges, mounting interest and enforcement action while they seek help to get their finances back on track.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children's Society, said: ``Again and again we have raised the urgent problem of families who are trapped by debt, and whose children often pay the price with their mental and physical health."

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