A report examined the extent to which childhood circumstances affected future life-chances, drawing on data from the United Kingdom and other European Union countries.
Source: Paola Serafino and Richard Tonkin, Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage in the UK & EU, Office for National Statistics
An article examined the relationship between child poverty and children's subjective well-being.
Source: Gill Main, 'Child poverty and children's subjective well-being', Child Indicators Research, Volume 7 Number 3
A series of three journal articles examined child deaths in high-income countries, highlighting the importance of relative poverty as a social determinant of health.
Source: The Lancet 6-12 September 2014
James Fraser, Peter Sidebotham, John Frederick, Teresa Covington, and Edwin Mitchell, 'Learning from child death review in the USA, England, Australia, and New Zealand'
Peter Sidebotham, James Fraser, Peter Fleming, Martin Ward-Platt, and Richard Hain, 'Patterns of child death in England and Wales'
Peter Sidebotham, James Fraser, Teresa Covington, Jane Freemantle, Stavros Petrou, Ruth Pulikottil-Jacob, Tessa Cutler, and Catherine Ellis, 'Understanding why children die in high-income countries'
A paper outlined data collected as part of the process of developing the measurement framework for Scotland's Child Poverty Strategy that was from sources considered, but not included, in the measurement framework.
Source: Child Poverty Measurement Framework the Wider Evidence Base, Scottish Government
An article examined the European Union youth strategy, applying a 'southern theory perspective' to examine reasons for a lack of impact on levels of youth unemployment, underemployment, and child and youth poverty.
Source: Judith Bessant and Rob William Watts, '"Cruel optimism": a southern theory perspective on the European Union's Youth Strategy, 2008 2012', International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, Volume 19 Issue 1
A report evaluated the Child Poverty Strategy in Wales. It said that policies were now in place to support the poverty objectives across the Welsh Government, but more could be done to link economic growth strategies with poverty objectives and there was no strong evidence found that the scale of programming was sufficient to make the necessary scale of change. The report said that the duty placed on local authorities and other public bodies had a limited impact to date in terms of new programming or allocation of additional resources, but had encouraged public bodies to review their programming, had enhanced co-ordination between programmes and services at a local level, and had improved monitoring systems.
Source: Ipsos MORI and the New Policy Institute, Evaluation of the Welsh Child Poverty Strategy: Final report, Research Paper 67/2014, Welsh Government
A special issue of a journal examined early childhood services for children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Europe.
Source: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, Volume 22 Issue 3
Links: Table of contents
Notes: Articles included:
Paul Leseman and Pauline Slot, 'Breaking the cycle of poverty: challenges for European early childhood education and care'
Alice Bradbury, 'Learning, assessment and equality in Early Childhood Education (ECE) settings in England'
Eva Lloyd and Helen Penn, 'Childcare markets in an age of austerity'
A report examined how the changes to benefits systems during the economic crisis in Europe had affected children. It said that the crisis had deeply affected public spending, and that the percentage of children living in poverty or social exclusion had risen in several member states during the crisis, in part due to changes in the system of social protection, but also owing to families' increased risk of unemployment and income reduction. It said that in spite of some deterioration of child and family policies and services, recent reforms and measures across member states aimed to protect vulnerable families, including (according to an OECD report) policies in the United Kingdom.
Source: Barbara Janta and Marie-Louise Henham, Social Protection During the Economic Crisis: How do changes to benefits systems affect children?, RR-555, DG Employment, European Union
A report provided early findings from an analysis of the Understanding Society dataset to explore child poverty transitions, aimed at identifying which employment and household characteristics increased the risk of a child entering poverty. The final report was due to be published in the autumn of 2014.
Source: Child Poverty Transitions: Early findings report, Department for Work and Pensions
The government began consultation on setting the 2020 persistent child poverty target. The consultation would close on 14 August 2014.
Source: Consultation on Setting the 2020 Persistent Child Poverty Target, Cm 8875, Department for Work and Pensions
A report (by an official advisory body) said that the United Kingdom Government's proposed child poverty strategy would not help to meet the legal obligation to end child poverty by 2020. It said that, while there had been improvements in the government's strategic approach and in some policy areas, overall the strategy fell far short of what was needed, such that the 2020 targets would be missed by a considerable distance. It noted the two strand approach to tackling poverty (welfare-to-work and improving educational outcomes for children) and said that, although more parents were now in work, this could not resolve the issue of child poverty while labour market conditions produced low pay and job insecurity and the government's fiscal consolidation policies limited the scope to address in-work poverty. The commission published, alongside this report, new research on the parental employment outcomes that would be needed to meet the absolute and relative child poverty targets set out in the Child Poverty Act 2010.
Source: Response to the Consultation on the Child Poverty Strategy 2014 to 2017, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission
Links: Report | Research report | Commission press release | 4Children press release | ATL press release | Barnardos press release | CPAG press release | Childrens Society press release | JRF press release | BBC report | Guardian report | Inside Housing report | Telegraph report
The government published its child poverty strategy for 2014-17. It said that good progress had been made in many areas to date and that the government remained committed to the target of ending child poverty in the United Kingdom by 2020. It said that actions would be taken to address the root causes of poverty and set out aims to: support families into work and to increase their earnings; improve living standards and reduce living costs; and raise educational attainment. It said that employers, local agencies, and the devolved administrations would have a part to play in achieving the aims of the strategy. The government published alongside the strategy a consultation on setting the 2020 persistent child poverty target, which would close on 14 August 2014.
Source: Child Poverty Strategy 2014-17, HM Government
A report examined the parental employment outcomes (employment rates, hours of work, and earnings) that would be necessary to meet the absolute and relative child poverty targets set out in the Child Poverty Act 2010. It said that improvements to parental employment outcomes alone would not be sufficient, unless parental employment levels were close to 100 per cent and parents in in-work poverty significantly increased their working hours. The report said that financial support could be improved within existing fiscal plans if the Exchequer's revenues were boosted by more rapid rises in parental employment and higher wage increases than were currently expected. The report discussed policy implications.
Source: Howard Reed and Jonathan Portes, Understanding the Parental Employment Scenarios Necessary to Meet the 2020 Child Poverty Targets: Research report, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission
A report examined data on the levels of child poverty in the United Kingdom, how this had changed over recent years, and whether children who lived in deprived households were more likely to remain in low income. The report was intended to supplement the department's evidence review published in February 2014.
Source: An Analysis of the Drivers of Child Poverty Now: Analysis of the characteristics that make it hard for families to escape poverty, Department for Work and Pensions
A report examined the scale and impact of problem debt among families with children. It said that almost 1.4 million United Kingdom families with dependent children were currently in problem debt, and an additional 2.9 million families with dependent children had struggled to pay bills and credit commitments over the previous 12 months. 10 per cent of families said they had taken out credit to pay for food for their children, 18 per cent for clothing, and 6 per cent for heating. Problem debt was found to have an impact on family relationships, as well as on children, who reported issues such as feeling worried about the family finances, difficulties at school, and exclusion from social activities. The report made a range of recommendations to reduce the harm to children, reduce the impact on families, and provide earlier intervention to prevent problem debt.
Source: The Debt Trap: Exposing the impact of problem debt on children, Children's Society/StepChange
A report examined the nature and consequences of the educational outcomes of children from low-income households in Scotland, relative to children from high-income households. It said that the gap was already evident by age 5, and that lower attainment in literacy and numeracy was linked to deprivation throughout primary school. The authors had found that, although overall attainment at age 16 had risen, a significant and persistent gap remained between groups, and children from deprived households were more likely to leave school earlier and without qualifications. The report said that the attainment gap could be reduced by a number of evidenced measures, including: high-quality, pre-school education; whole-school reforms based on timely, relevant data; and closer partnerships between home and schools. The report concluded that guidance on reducing the impact of poverty on attainment should be explicitly included when developing policy on curriculum and inspection. It called for a national evidence base of 'what works', and for professional development in how to use evidence in curriculum design, resource allocation, and practice monitoring and evaluation.
Source: Edward Sosu and Sue Ellis, Closing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Education, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
A report examined how poverty affected the physical health, emotional well-being, cognitive development, and educational achievement of children in the United Kingdom, and the development of three main drivers of child poverty: flat wage growth; pressure on social security spending; and cost of living inflation. It said that forecasts indicated that the number of children living in poverty could increase by 1.4 million (41 per cent) by 2020, and that the political commitment to ending child poverty by that date was no longer credible. The report called for: universal, high-quality, affordable childcare; a minimum income guarantee for families of children under five; and a 'mission' for all children to be reading well by age 11. Briefings were also published, examining child poverty issues in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Source: Priya Kothari, Graham Whitham, and Thomas Quinn, A Fair Start for Every Child: Why we must act now to tackle child poverty in the UK, Save the Children
An article examined the link between childhood perceived relative deprivation and a range of measures of mental health. It said that deprivation was associated with hallucination-proneness, paranoia and well-being, and measures of trust, social rank, and beliefs about justice. It noted the limitations of the study, and implications for public mental health.
Source: Sophie Louise Wickham, Nick Shryane, Minna Lyons, Thomas Dickins, and Richard Bentall, 'Why does relative deprivation affect mental health? The role of justice, trust and social rank in psychological wellbeing and paranoid ideation', Journal of Public Mental Health, Volume 13 Number 2
An article examined reasons behind the impact of poor socio-economic status on outcomes for younger children. It said that the lower a family's socio-economic status the greater the likelihood that they would have children who were obese, had impaired social and emotional skills, or had impaired language acquisition. The article, based on a rapid evidence review, considered reasons for this 'social gradient', and made suggestions for actions to redress inequalities.
Source: Angela Donkin, Jillian Roberts, Alison Tedstone, and Michael Marmot, 'Family socio-economic status and young children's outcomes', Journal of Children's Services, Volume 9 Number 2
An article examined micro data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, to consider which types of social transfers were effective in reducing child poverty. It said that, although transfers made a substantial contribution, this varied between countries, with no obvious single successful model.
Source: Jonathan Bradshaw and Meg Huby, 'Decomposing child poverty reduction', European Journal of Social Security, Volume 2014 Number 1
An article examined the impact of the coalition government policies on the future direction of children's services, both at the national and local levels. At the national level, it questioned the ability of the government to deliver the aspirations of the Child Poverty Act 2010, given the broad range of influences and factors that could determine the circumstances in which a child might experience poverty.
Source: Nada Kakabadse, Nicci Marzec, and Richard Rose, 'What next for children's services? Can policy at a local or national level have any significant impact on the outcomes for children and their families?', International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, Volume 19 Issue 1
A report from a children's charity highlighted the extent of fuel poverty in Britain and said that many children living in poverty were also living in homes that were inadequately heated. The report said that many families were not receiving the Warm Home Discount, and called for the government to make it automatically available to all families with children who were living in poverty.
Source: Sam Royston, Behind Cold Doors: The chilling reality for children in poverty, Children s Society
The government published its response to the annual report of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.
Source: Government's Response to the Annual Report of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, Cm 8827, Department for Education, TSO
The Scottish government published its revised child poverty strategy. It said that future work would concentrate on three outcomes: maximizing household resources (through maximizing financial entitlements, reducing pressure on household budgets of low-income families, raising family incomes through employment, and promoting greater financial inclusion and capability); improving children's well-being and life-chances through breaking 'inter-generational cycles of poverty, inequality and deprivation'; and improving children's living environments and addressing area-based disadvantage through improving the physical, social and economic environments in local areas. The strategy would be reviewed following the independence referendum in September 2014.
Source: Child Poverty Strategy for Scotland: Our approach 2014-2017, Scottish Government
A report examined the impact of the benefit cap on children in England, based on a freedom of information request to all English local authorities. It said that households with children were disproportionately affected, and raised particular concerns about the likely impact of the cap on vulnerable children, including those in temporary accommodation and 'children in need'. The report said that neither local nor national government knew how many vulnerable children were affected, that there was a lack of discussion around how best to identify them, and that increased numbers of children and families would be moved from temporary accommodation and away from their home areas as a result of the cap. The report called on local and national government to: identify and assist families with vulnerable children; share information between housing and children's services departments; and remove the cap for families in temporary accommodation.
Source: Rebecca Rennison, Children and the Benefit Cap, Action for Children
The government began consultation on its proposed child poverty strategy for 2014-17. The paper said that good progress had been made to date and that the government remained committed to the target of ending child poverty in the United Kingdom by 2020. It said that actions would be taken to address the root causes of poverty and set out aims to: support families into work and to increase their earnings; improve living standards and reduce living costs; and raise educational attainment. It said that employers, local agencies, and the devolved administrations would have a part to play in achieving the aims of the strategy. The government also published an evidence review alongside the strategy, which examined the causes of poverty and the barriers faced by families in improving their position. The consultation would close on 22 May 2014.
Source 1: Consultation on the Child Poverty Strategy 2014-17, Cm 8782, Department for Work and Pensions, TSO
Links: Consultation document | DWP press release | 4Children press release | Childrens Society press release | Citizens Advice press release | CSAN press release | Gingerbread press release | JRF press release | BBC report | Guardian report | Inside Housing report
Source 2: An Evidence Review of the Drivers of Child Poverty for Families in Poverty Now and for Poor Children Growing Up to Be Poor Adults, Cm 8781, Department for Work and Pensions, TSO
A report updated previous projections of child and working-age poverty in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom from 2012-13 to 2017-18, and in 2020-21. It said that in the United Kingdom there would be an overall increase over the decade in the number of children in poverty of up to 1.4 million, depending on which measure was used.
Source: James Browne, Andrew Hood, and Robert Joyce, Child and Working-Age Poverty in Northern Ireland Over the Next Decade: An update, Institute for Fiscal Studies
A paper examined the relationship between universal approaches, child benefits and child poverty reduction in European countries. The study used an indicator of targeting that aimed to capture the design, rather than the outcomes, of child benefit systems. The paper said that targeted approaches were found to be associated with higher levels of child poverty reduction, conditional on the direction of targeting and the characteristics of the benefit system.
Source: Wim Van Lancker and Natascha Van Mechelen, Universalism Under Siege? Exploring the association between targeting, child benefits and child poverty across 26 countries, Working Paper 14/01, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy (University of Antwerp)