The study begins by providing a profile of working children in Venezuela for the 2000 reference year. This snapshot of the situation of working children is then used to provide a basis for examining the impact on children’s work produced by the economic crisis which hit the country during the period 2002-2003. The study shows that when households are at risk of seeing their income collapse due to economic shocks, their survival strategies are quickly reformulated in order to preserve their income level. Children’s work in particular is used by household to absorb the impact of shocks until the crisis comes to an end. The study also suggests that the economic shocks driven by political instability had an influence on household expectations: families anticipated the shocks and adjusted children’s economic activity to face it. While children’s work fell again at the end of the crisis, the incidence of children’s work did not fall to pre-crisis levels, suggesting that short-term shocks can have a permanent effect on children’s development and schooling.