Child poverty in Britain

Taq 1: Child poverty in Britain: the causes and the effects

Source What is the purpose of the source Is it fact, opinion or both? Give examples How appropriate is the source? Give examples
Child Poverty Action Group. (2015). What is poverty? Retrieved May 11, 2015, from http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/what-is-poverty

 

To inform the reader on the definition of child poverty Both. The authors quote from other sources but give their own opinion on the issue of child poverty. The source gives clear information on the definition of child poverty. It is easily readable.
Child poverty campaigns. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2015 from http://www.barnados.org.uk/what we do/our work/child poverty/child poverty campains.htm To inform the reader of the poverty campaigns to reduce poverty in children. Both. The authors talk of different interventions that have been put in place to reduce child poverty in Britain. The authors also propose changes that need to be made. The source is important as it gives information on how child poverty can be reduced in Britain.
Claire’s story of child poverty in the North East. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2015, from http://www.barnados.org.uk/what we do/our work/child poverty/child poverty case studies stories/child poverty claire.htm To persuade the reader on how child poverty is negatively affecting children in Britain. Opinion. This source is an opinion on how child poverty is negatively affecting the children. The source is not very useful because it does not provide much information on the issue of child poverty in Britain.
Griggs, J. & Walker, R. (2008, October). The costs of child poverty for individuals and communities. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from Joseph Rowtree Foundation: http://www.jrf.org.uk/system/files/2301-child-poverty-costs.pdf To inform the reader on the costs of child poverty for individuals and communities. Fact. The authors mainly quote from other sources. The source is very useful as it provides important information on the costs of child poverty for individuals and communities.
Ryan, F. (2013, October 8). The wrong people are feeling shame for Britain’s poverty. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from NewStatesman: http://www.newstatesman.com/business/2013/wrong-people-are-feeling-shame-britains-poverty To persuade the reader against stereotypes of child poverty. Opinion. The source is mainly an opinion piece on how wrong people are feeling shame for Britain’s child poverty. The source if useful as it highlights how child poverty is negatively affecting people.
Smith, M. (2012, February 29). ‘Hate the poor!’: the new politics of loathing in vitriolic Britain. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from OpenLearn: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/society/politics-policy-people/social-policy/hate-the-poor-the-new-politics-loathing-vitriolic-britain To persuade the reader against vitriolic attacks against the poor. Both. The source quotes from some survey conducted but is mainly an opinion piece. The source is useful as it provides information on vitriolic attacks against the poor.

 

Taq 2: Child poverty in Britain: an analysis of the causes and the effects

The question of child policy in Britain has been a key policy issue for successive governments (Child Poverty Action Group, 2015). This is because there are around 3.5 million children living in poverty in Britain. This represents almost 27% of the entire children population in Britain (Department of Work & Pensions, June 2013). There are different causes of child poverty in Britain (Dickens, 2011).

One of the main causes of child poverty is environmental factors (Phung, 2008). This is where the children live in an environment where there are more job seekers than jobs. Due to one reason or another, the child’s parent may be disadvantages in the job market (Staples & Cochran, 2007). This happens mainly for children born in minority ethnic groups (Platt, 2007). Some of the factors that may limit the parent’s entry to the job market include low skills that reduce their entry and progression in the job market (Bradshaw, Richardson & Ritakallio, 2007), poor physical and mental health that affects the parents chances of securing jobs, caring responsibilities especially for women makes it difficult for them to balance family and work life and family breakdown which reduces the average family income and causes other psychological problems for the parents (Welbourne, 2012).

Child poverty has varied effects on the life and wellbeing of the child. It is important to note that the level of children’s exposure to poverty depends on their parents efforts to protect them from poverty (Bradshaw, Richardson & Ritakallio, 2007). Child poverty reduces the life chances of the children thereby reducing their school qualifications. This is in the sense that child poverty may negatively affect academic performance of the children (Welbourne, 2012). In addition, within the school setup, children in poverty may not be able to purchase school resources like exam materials and study guides. Inability to purchase some of the compulsory materials like school uniform may create a conflict between the children and the teachers.

Child poverty may also lead to physical and psychological abuse of the child. This is where the child may be exposed to events or environments that may have detrimental effects on their psychological well being. Furthermore, poverty may create tension between children and parents. There are instances when parents are under severe pressure due to their job demands and other financial demands like debts (Welbourne, 2012).

Child poverty also affects social development of children (Ryan, 2013). Social development exists in the form of being able to make and retain friends. The abuse and stressors that result from poverty may make the child isolate him or herself. This limits the ability of the child to interact with other children, make friends and participate in social activities. Poverty also reduces the child’s chances of participating in some social activities due to the cost of participating in some of these activities (Staples & Cochran, 2007).

Child poverty has an effect on the health of the children (Smith, 2012). This is due to the type of housing that the child lives in, the environment in which the house is located which exposes the child to many diseases and the fact that poverty limits the ability of the child to obtain quality health care (Griggs & Walker, 2008).

Taq 3: Child poverty in Britain: why you should act

            There are around 3.5 million children living in poverty in Britain. This represents almost 27% of the entire children population in Britain (Department of Work & Pensions, June 2013). This is a very big proportion and there is need for action to be taken to reduce child poverty in Britain.

I believe that the problem of child poverty should be tackled so that the children’s chances for better life in future can be improved. This is because poverty reduces the life chances of children (Welbourne, 2012). If this problem is not tackled and the inequalities persist, then as a society we are likely to experience an increase in the number of children living under poverty. This will have far reaching effects on the society. For example, crime, social deviance and substance abuse rates will increase in the society if the problem of child poverty is not tackled. In addition, I feel that if the problem persists, then there will be an unending cycle of poverty among a certain group of citizens. This will increase the inequalities and increase the burden to health care and social services (Welbourne, 2012). The other reason for tackling child poverty is to help reduce the current and future stress levels within the society. Child poverty leads to stress of both children and parents (Nicola, 2005). If this problem is not solved and it persists to the future, then the future levels of stress may increase. This may increase the risks for other diseases like heart disease and stroke and may increase the burden to the public health system. The effect of this is that the life expectancy of the society will be reduced (Welbourne, 2012).

For the compassion that I have for the future of these children, I would propose that the following actions be taken to eliminate child poverty in Britain. First, the government should develop policies that help in creating more employment opportunities for the citizens. This is one of the sure ways of eradicating child poverty. Employment will raise the living standards of the families and thereby eliminate environmental factors that cause poverty. The second approach that I would propose is for the government to direct more resources for the children who are in most need. Children from the minority Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black African communities are the ones worse affected by poverty (Platt, 2007). The government’s services should therefore focus interventions on these children. The third approach that I would propose is for the government to invest more in education of these children. Education will help improve the life opportunities of the children thereby help in driving them out of poverty. The fourth approach is for the government to mobilise community and voluntary approach among the major stakeholders in the society. The government should work hand in hand with corporations and non-governmental organisations to develop programmes that target children living under poverty. The corporate and non-governmental organisations will supplement the programmes that have been initiated by the government (Welbourne, 2012).

 

References

Bradshaw, J., Richardson, D. & Ritakallio, V-M. (2007). Child poverty and child well-being in

Europe. Journal of Children’s Services, 2(1), pp. 18-36.

Child Poverty Action Group. (2015). What is poverty? Retrieved May 11, 2015, from

http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/what-is-poverty

Child poverty campaigns. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2015, from

http://www.barnardos.org.uk/what_we_do/our_work/child_poverty/child_poverty_campaigns.htm

Claire’s story of child poverty in the North East. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2015, from

http://www.barnardos.org.uk/what_we_do/our_work/child_poverty/child_poverty_case_studies_stories/child_poverty_claire.htm

Department of Work & Pensions. (2013, June). Households Below Average Income. Retrieved

May 9, 2015, from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/206778/full_hbai13.pdf

Dickens, R. (2013). Child poverty in Britain: Past lessons and future prospects. National Institute

Economic Review, 218(218), pp. R7-R19.

Griggs, J. & Walker, R. (2008, October). The costs of child poverty for individuals and

communities. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from Joseph Rowtree Foundation: http://www.jrf.org.uk/system/files/2301-child-poverty-costs.pdf

Nicola, J. (2005). Child poverty: is it child abuse? Paediatric Nursing, 17(8), pp. 20-23.

Phung, V-H. (2008). Ethnicity and child poverty under New Labour: A research review. Social

Policy & Society, 7(4), pp. 551-563.

Platt, L. (2007). Child poverty, employment and ethnicity in the UK: The role and limitations of

policy. European Studies, 9(2), pp. 175-179.

Ryan, F. (2013, October 8). The wrong people are feeling shame for Britain’s poverty. Retrieved

May 11, 2015, from NewStatesman: http://www.newstatesman.com/business/2013/10/wrong-people-are-feeling-shame-britains-poverty

Smith, M. (2012, February 29). ‘Hate the poor!’: the new politics of loathing in vitriolic Britain.

Retrieved May 11, 2015, from OpenLearn: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/society/politics-policy-people/social-policy/hate-the-poor-the-new-politics-loathing-vitriolic-britain

Staples, R. & Cochran, M. (2007). Early Childhood Education: The countries. London:

Greenwood Publishing Group.

Welbourne, P. (2012). Social Work with Children and Families: Developing Advanced Practice.

London: Routledge.