Poverty is multidimensional and this is even more true for children. Investigating multidimensional poverty among children is a significant task not only because of the importance of the problem itself, but also because childhood deprivation can lead to a higher risk of impoverished adulthood. Within this wide context, beyond monetary poverty we concentrate our attention on two specific domains, namely social affiliation and safety whose lack is an important factor in determining childhood social exclusion. The basic hypothesis is that there is some underlying factor (affiliation & social participation capability and community & environment capability) which is better captured by reviewing a range of single items of children's current situation. Taking advantage of the 2009 EU-SILC module on material deprivation, we address issues concerning the derivation and measurement of the latent factor through the use of an item response modelling (IRM) framework. Going beyond the measurement of those domains, this study aims to compare them across five members of the European Union (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) that became historically known as PIIGS countries during the economic recession in 2008. The analysis also aims to compare the impact that household characteristics have on these two social dimensions across countries. Findings show interesting similarities between these five countries.