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Impacts of Child Poverty in United Kingdom

Major Causes & Impacts of Child Poverty in UK

Introduction to Child Poverty in United Kingdom

Child poverty refers to a process by which children have to live below poverty line. It ions applied to the children that come from poor families as well as orphans who are raised in limited or even absence of resources.

UK is one of the major nations which is also facing the problem of child poverty (Taylor-Robinson and et.al., 2013). It is applied to children who belong to poor families and living their lives with limited and absence of necessary resources. Due to this problem, most of the children cannot meet their basic requirements of living. There are different ways by which child poverty can be measured.

Easiest way to quantify the child poverty is to set a monetary threshold and line of poverty. If any family is not capable to earn the amount of monetary threshold then children of that family will be considered as poor. It affects the social, education and physical development of children living in UK. So, it is one of the major issues for these nations (Aldridge and Kenway, 2014).

The research is based on child poverty in UK (Child poverty facts and figures, 2015). It will focus on determining the major causes and impacts of this issue.

Further, it will also give information on different risk factors which increases the level of child poverty in nation. For conducting investigation in a proper manner, I will follow an appropriate process which will comprise literature review, research methodology and analysis section (Child poverty, 2015). All these stages help in resolving the research problem and in getting appropriate solution with respect to the causes and impacts of child poverty in UK.

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Literature Review

Literature review is the assessment of current articles and literature available through secondary sources. It consists of substantial findings and theoretical knowledge of the theme (Cribb, Hood, Joyce and Phillips, 2013). LR emphasizes on current findings of author in order to get insight of the particular theme or subject. Review of literature basically consists of articles, research paper, books and journals which have authentic sources. Child poverty is the state of a child who is living below the poverty line or residing in a family which is subsequently low in finances that is the topic of LR.

Child poverty is the major issue for the government as well as for the society as it is impacting on country’s development (Dowler and O’Connor, 2012). It is necessary to use literature review so as to assess the reasons that are leading to child poverty and to formulate the strategy or recommendations to reduce its impact. In order to achieve this, critical analysis of literature available on the topic of child poverty is done (Wolfe and et.al., 2014). Critical analysis helps the researcher in finding out the major factors that are leading to child poverty.

Defining Child Poverty

Poverty is considered to be a situation where the individual is facing extreme scarcity of financial resources. Dowler and O’Connor, 2012 has stated that “child poverty is a hazardous condition as it is impacting the future of new generation of economies” (Dowler and O’Connor, 2012). It is a state where children are facing problems of low finance or becoming extremely poor. To support this, Taylor-Robinson and et.al., 2015 has found that “children faces a state of extreme inferiority complex from the children who are potentially developed from the poor child” (Taylor-Robinson and et.al, 2015). Poverty discourages individual potential to improve his/her present condition. The definition of child states that any male or female below the age of puberty i.e. below the age of 14 is a child.

On the other hand, Gornick and Jäntti, 2012 has said that “any child from a family who is below the poverty line or not earning sustainable livable financial resources to support the family is considered to be poor” (Gornick and Jäntti, 2012). However, Morrow and Pells, 2012 has found that any family earning below £375 per week is considered to be below poverty line (Morrow and Pells, 2012). The poverty line is an economic threshold that is used to define the minimum level of income which is needed to secure the minor necessities of life. Barnes and Wright, 2012 also defines poverty as the inability to purchase goods and services that are required by each child (Barnes and Wright, 2012). Child poverty refers to the state of child living in poverty or forced to live in such kind of situation.

Minujin, 2012 states that child poverty is depriving the child from major human rights of education (Minujin, 2012). It deprives the child to receive education and to get developed in a well groomed personality. Poverty is a curse to the society as it deprives the economy to develop and hampers the opportunities for growth of individuals as well. Child poverty is the biggest threat to a developed nation as well as for a developing nation. It has reduced the growth of economies which were entitled to harness with a faster way. There are many causes that have led to rise in child poverty in different countries and economies (Child poverty definition to be changed, 2015).

Causes of Child Poverty

Poverty is one of the major issues of society and there are number of factors which increase the level of this problem. These factors work together to degrade the condition of child and results in increasing the condition of poverty among them. Brewer, Browne and Sutherland, 2015 has stated that low paid work or jobs are one of the main reasons of poverty” (Brewer, Browne and Sutherland, 2015). It is the parent’s disability to receive substantial wages of their work which leads to make their families poor.

Low wages increase the risk of exploitation of individuals and create issues for the survival. It is difficult for human beings to survive in a low wage payment where they have to feed more than two people in a family (Engle and Black, 2015). On the contrary, Reasons for Child Poverty, 2013 profound that these are not the firms that are paying low to individuals but it is low qualification of people that makes them eligible for low payment in wages (Reasons for Child Poverty, 2013).

Eventually, the most developed countries have also fallen prey to this problem. Pre-marital pregnancy or teenage pregnancy disrupts education and the teenagers or adults are forced to discontinue their studies (Barnes and Wright, 2012).Along with that, they also said that the income of a family does not reduce with the birth of a child. However, it is the same but, there is only the proportion that changes which is known as the expense. After child birth, family’s expenses increases which may lead to poverty. Apart from that, Arndt and et.al., 2012 argued that a low income family will not be considered as poverty ridden but a family who is below the poverty line or is regularly deprived with basic amenities of food, clothing and shelter are poverty struck.

Another cause of poverty is family with single parents or parents who are totally unemployed. It is evident as Taylor-Robinson and et.al., 2015 has stated that if a house has single parents and more number of children, it is difficult to maintain financial stability in that family (Taylor-Robinson and et.al., 2015). Also, a completely unemployed individual will lead in getting poor. , Dowler and O’Connor, 2012 has argued that families that are earning well but have expenses that are considerably high or outside the basic necessary range will also become poverty affected (Dowler and O’Connor, 2012). It is not the presence of low income that creates poverty but the problem of expanding more than individual’s capacity that makes the entire family poor.

According to Bradshaw, 2013, it can be critically assessed that any family which do not earn and even do not have enough to support for the expenses that come under the category of poverty (Bradshaw, 2013). There is also a concept of generation poverty because of which it is difficult for the individuals to cure or to improve it. Lack of education is also one of the main reasons behind this. Minujin, 2012 has identified that some stances of breakdown or tragedy in a family may also lead to poverty (Minujin, 2012). For example, death of the main earner of family may force the members to struggle for resources and this may lead to increase in poverty. Cribb, Hood, Joyce and Phillips, 2013 has distinguished that many families are facing issues due to substance abuse of alcohol or use of drugs (Cribb, Hood, Joyce and Phillips, 2013).

It destroys assets and creates mental issue for the family as well. Person wasting money and financial resources for purchase of drug or alcohol will create shortage of funds that will lead to poverty. These factors cause poverty whereas; there are factors which increase the risk of poverty among household and children. Children are considered to be at greatest risk if their family or portents fall into problems that will result into poverty.

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Risk Factors of Child Poverty in UK

Brewer, Browne and Sutherland, 2015 identified that there are families with single parents or lone parents that are at a greater risk of poverty (Brewer, Browne and Sutherland, 2015). It is due to the fact that these single parents cannot provide sufficient amount of income that is required for the expenses of a family. This is due to the reason that either they are unemployed or are earning low then their actual capacity. For instance, a single parent with two children requires at-least £375 for survival and they will not be counted under the poverty line (Engle and Black, 2015). Gornick and Jäntti, 2012 said that if the amount of income earned by family members must be more than their spending capacity only then they will not be in the risk factors of poverty (Gornick and Jäntti, 2012).

On the contrary, families with large number of individuals are also prone to poverty. In these families, the members who can earn are low then the total members.Thus, the amount of income will always be low then required. They struggle to provide basic necessities to children as well as are in a greater risk to pay debt as well. This is due to the amount of debt that they would have raised to remove the situation of poverty in their family (Dowler and O’Connor, 2012). Physical disability is also considered as the major reason behind poverty (Bradshaw, 2013). As per Barnes and Wright, 2012, it is obvious that families whose adults or children are disabled will have to face huge expenses for medicines and for curing their issues (Barnes and Wright, 2012).

On the contrary, Wolfe and et.al, 2014 explains that being disabled is not the reason to become poor but the inability of family of not supporting the hospital expense struck (Wolfe and et.al, 2014). It is not just the problem of disabled that born with a disability will result in his/her family becoming poor. On the other hand, if the members of family are able to support for the cost of medicines and hospital expenses then the person’s health will be improved. But if the family is already poor due to hereditary issues, they will not be able to provide support for his treatment expenses. The add-on in treatment expense will further deficit in their present situation (Arndt and et.al., 2012).

Effects of Child Poverty

It is clear that there are very harmful effects of child poverty on the society as well as on the economy of a country. Child poverty is deprecating the rate of development of future generation. Major effect of child poverty is on the personal development of children. They are not able to get education which is their basic human right (Taylor-Robinson and et.al, 2015). Minujin, 2012 has found that due to this, they fall to under development and lack in confidence as well. Poverty generates inferiority complex and poverty struck child feels that he/she is incapable to fit in the high standard of society (Minujin, 2012). Also, Brewer, Browne and Sutherland, 2015 have analyzed that even society doesn't consider these children who are poor or belong to a poor family (Brewer, Browne and Sutherland, 2015). They are treated as minorities by the rich people of society and are exploited for their personal gains as well. Lack in proper education leads to further unemployment which affects the family.

On the contrary, Cribb, Hood, Joyce and Phillips, 2013 stated that inability of a child to receive education is not the entire fault of him/her, but it is the backdrop for a country or economy (Cribb, Hood, Joyce and Phillips, 2013). The country is also affected by the phenomenon of child poverty. As the child poverty will increase, there will be low development and per capita income will also get declined. This will indicate that the entire country is not developing which is not considered as an ideal situation in terms of growth and maturation. However, Morrow and Pells, 2012 said that it further adds to poor hygiene and deploys the mental level and health of children (Morrow and Pells, 2012).

It can be critiqued that even bad health or unstable mental level will result in poverty as well. But this is not all; this is a hazardous condition for the future generation. Children are considered to be the future of the world if they are ill or have some or the other mental problem. These will possess a dangerous impact on the upcoming generation (Engle and Black, 2015). The society is also affected as there is high level of poverty in the country. It depletes the development of individuals that are living in society. Society is affected if there is lack in education or more number of health affected individuals. It is not a good sign of fairly developed society (The impact of poverty on educational outcomes for children, 2007).

Ways For Reducing The Level of Child Poverty

Government and political authorities are doing great work in reducing the level of poverty in society. They have formulated various campaigns and policies to remove the poverty from society. Campaign aims to provide support to families and children that are affected by poverty. Childcare facilities are given to the mothers in order to help them to raise their child in an economic and sound financial way. Young teenagers and parents are provided with monetary benefits to help them in improving their financial stability. Free school meals are given to the children who are already poverty struck to allure them to get more involved with studying and educating themselves (Child poverty definition to be changed, 2015). Housing facilities are given to the family who has low income. Children are kept in these homes to provide them with shelter and to motivate them to get employed and work in order to improve their situation.

Government has created programs especially for low income families or children facing poverty. Main objective of this program is to lower the interest rates that are levied on the credit amount (Dowler and O’Connor, 2012). This will improve their present financial firmness as they will not have to worry to pay higher amount of interest rate which is a tedious task for these families. Government has formulated child poverty act, 2010 which targets to eradicate the poverty from society. This target of this act was to completely curb poverty by 2010. However, they were unable to do this and thus, the new timeline is set for 2020. The political parties have also increased the number of employment in country by providing job opportunities to the individuals.

It is necessary for the government to generate jobs so as to make them capable to earn. This will automatically reduce the poverty if more number of individuals would be able to generate income sources for their family (Taylor-Robinson and et.al., 2015). Along with this, free education programs have also been created for rich and poverty ridden families. It is to make the children able to provide help to their family. As education is the source to curb poverty, thus, if the children will be educated, they would be able to perform earning responsibility to support their families (Arndt and et.al., 2012).

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Research Gap

This analysis can be defined as a process of determining gap between past and current investigation on a particular subject which helps in deciding the current area of study. Findings of literature review have reflected that there are large number of studies who have conducted investigation of child poverty and its causes and effects. But, no one has conducted the study on the current scenario of UK. So, it is a research gap for the current study as it is one of the crucial issues for country and no one has conducted study on such aspect. So, author has decided to conduct the investigation on this subject.

Methodology

Research methodology can be defined as an organized process of scientific and systematic search for information on a specific topic by using suitable tools and techniques. Researcher needs to select tools as per the subject and type of investigation (Gay, Mills and Airasian, 2011). For the current study, author will apply the following methods.

Research Philosophy

Philosophy of research can be defined as a way by which information about specific phenomenon can be gathered, analyzed and used for making final conclusion. There are two types of research philosophies; that is, positivism and interpretivism (Sunil and et.al., 2014). For the current investigation, author will apply positivism research paradigm. It will be selected by the researcher because it focuses on objectives rather than subjective concepts of investigation. Major goal of this philosophy is to explain and predict the upcoming outcomes which help in discovering suitable conditions. Therefore, for the current investigation, positivism research philosophy will play a significant role in extracting various causes and impacts of child poverty effectually. Consequently, positivism research philosophy will be effective for attaining all the objectives of study in an appropriate way (Ye and Lai, 2012).

Research Design

Research design can be defined as a base for developing an appropriate plan for whole investigation. Including this, design of research is necessary for gathering suitable information about the research subject. There are three types of research designs that are descriptive, exploratory and casual. Descriptive research design will be appropriate for the current investigation because subject of investigation is very qualitative and selected design will help in analyzing the qualitative research in an effective manner (Daniel and Sam, 2011). Along with this, descriptive research design will also help in analyzing important cases of child poverty. Descriptive research design will provide an opportunity to conduct in-depth study on child poverty and associated causers along with the risk factors. By using this research design, researcher can identify the future area of study.

Research Approach There are two types of research approaches, that is, inductive and deductive research approach. For the current investigation, researcher will apply inductive research approach because it helps in accomplishing investigation from specific to general manner. Along with this, it will also be effective for developing a new general theory on child poverty (McMillan and Schumacher, 2014). By using this approach, author will conduct investigation on child poverty in UK which will be effective for identifying causes, risk factors and impacts of child poverty in UK. Therefore, it will help in accomplishing the objective of investigation.

Technique of Research

For resolving the research problem, researcher needs to select appropriate techniques of investigation. The current research subject is theoretical so, researcher needs to apply qualitative research technique. It will be applied by the researcher because it is appropriate for understanding the subjective concepts and research problem in an effective manner. This qualitative research helps in understanding the historical research findings which will support in developing new theory on child poverty. Further, by using this technique, researcher can easily collect the subjective information about causes, impacts and risk factors of child poverty (Kriz, Gummesson and Quazi, 2013). The entire information will help in getting appropriate results for developing conclusion.

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Data Collection

Collection of data is an important task for every research and it is necessary to resolve the problem in an appropriate way. There are different methods of data collection that is primary and secondary data collection techniques. Primary data collection helps in gathering fresh and new information of any subject. In contrast to this, secondary data collection method proves to be very helpful in gathering facts about the current subject which is conducted by other research scholars in the past. For the current investigation, author will use secondary data collection methods only because it will help in getting information about the past and current situation of child poverty in UK. Further, secondary data collection method will be effective for getting insights to understand the problem of child poverty in UK (Fiegen, 2010).

Along with this, by analyzing the findings of other research scholars and by using the integration method, researcher can invent a new theory on the subject of child poverty in UK.For collecting secondary data, researcher will use the method of literature review in which research papers, articles, blogs and view of the past scholars on the similar subjects will be included. Further, author will also use other sources such as government reports, journals, articles, newspapers, magazines, reports from charities, statistics and media sources, etc. These sources will be very beneficial for getting appropriate solution for every research question (Goddard and Melville, 2004).

Data Analysis

Analysis of collected data is essential for getting suitable findings and results for every research objective. It can be defined as a process of examining data and information by using different tools and techniques. As per the above discussion, author will use secondary data collection method for gathering information. It helps in obtaining qualitative information on child poverty. The collected information will be analyzed by using thematic analysis. It will be applied by the author because it helps in examining in-depth qualitative information and helps in getting suitable findings from them (Martin and Guerin, 2006). Thematic analysis uses different themes, graphs and charts for examining data on child poverty. In the current research, author will analyze the collected information of secondary data collection. Overall, thematic analysis will get appropriate findings for the current investigation.

Ethical Consideration

Considerations of research ethics is the most appropriate for accomplishing whole investigation in an ethical manner. Every research is associated with different ethical issues so; author needs to apply suitable strategies for resolving these issues. Major problems belong to the data collection process. As per the above discussion, author will use secondary data collection method for obtaining the facts and figures and at this process, plagiarism and manipulation of data will be possible if researcher will not follow ethics. So, for overcoming this issue, author needs to use all references and citations from where author has collected the facts and figures (Li, Zhao and Chen, 2012). Therefore, this strategy will play a significant role in removing all ethical issues of current investigation.

Limitation of ResearchEvery research is associated with some basic limitations which can affect the financial findings of investigation. Along with this, it can delay the whole research also. Lack of time and cost is also the major limitation of current investigation because child poverty is a very complex and large subject. It takes time to investigate in a proper manner. So, for managing time and cost, author has developed a pre plan of each and every activity with specified duration. It will be beneficial for managing research limitations.

Conclusion

Determining cause and effects of child poverty in UK is the major aim of investigation. Child poverty is a complex issue of UK which is increasing the development risk for child, families and nation. So, author wants to conduct investigation on the impacts of child poverty by which study can get appropriate findings to suggest suitable strategies to overcome this issue in UK. Regarding this, author has used systematic review of literature which has helped in getting appropriate research gap and also helped in formulating a research plan for investigation (Gornick and Jäntti, 2012). Author has applied different tools and techniques of research for collecting and analyzing the facts and figures on child poverty.

Review of literature has reflected that most of the researchers have conducted investigation on child poverty but they focus on the entire world not a single country. But, at present, UK is facing this problem at a high level so; it needs to pay attention on this issue. This is the reason because of which author has decided to conduct investigation on this subject.
After completing this file, author has concluded that low wages, high expenses, low level of income, unemployment, single and teenage parents and other social and cultural issues are considered as the major reasons of child poverty (Taylor-Robinson and et.al, 2015). Afterwards, author has also concluded that child poverty decline the facilities of education for poor child which affects the skills and knowledge of children in a negative manner.

Lack of monetary resources affects the health and social care for poor child at the time of any health issue. Poor children cannot get appropriate treatment to overcome their diseases due to inappropriate money for medical facilities. This impact increases the health issues and declines their physical and mental health capabilities which affect their growth and development in a negative manner. Overall, research has asserted that child poverty affects the health condition of different children of UK.

Along with this, child poverty increases other social issues in the entire community such as for satisfying the basic needs and requirement, children can be diverted towards the wrong network which can ruin the life of themselves and others. It has negative impacts on the entire community and nation. So, researcher has concluded that child poverty has negative impacts on the society of nation. Consequently, by reviewing literature and using appropriate tools and techniques of research, author has attained all the objectives of current investigation in an effective manner (Wolfe and et.al, 2014).

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Recommendation

Findings of literature has reflected that for resolving the issue of child poverty, government of UK and other regulatory authorities are required to take some appropriate actions. According to the researcher, political or respective authorities should conduct some campaign on education and health. These will help in increasing the awareness of families about the requirement of education in developing career and living lives with effective standards. After these campaign, they will try to give best education to their children which will help in improving their financial condition in future and would reduce the child poverty in UK as well (Engle and Black, 2015).

In health campaign, government of nation needs to make appropriate arrangements for free checkup and treatment for some specific diseases which will improve the physical and mental health capabilities of children and entire family. In addition to this, communicating sign and symptoms of number of diseases to society and poorer families will also play a significant role in increasing their awareness towards different kind of diseases by which they can take appropriate treatment for that. It will help in improving their health conditions also (Barnes and Wright, 2012). Therefore, health campaign is also one of the appropriate actions for reducing child poverty in UK.

Further, government should develop some protection acts and policies for providing appropriate rights to all those children and families who belong to poor families. Therefore, study has suggested all these actions which will help in reducing the child poverty issue in UK (Morrow and Pells, 2012).

References

  • Aldridge, H. and Kenway, P., 2014. Referendum briefing: child poverty in Scotland. York: JRF.
  • Arndt, C.and et.al, 2012. Ordinal welfare comparisons with multiple discrete indicators: A first order dominance approach and application to child poverty. World Development.
  • Barnes, H. and Wright, G., 2012. Defining child poverty in South Africa using the socially perceived necessities approach. Global Child Poverty and Well-Being: Measurement.
  • Bhattacharyya, K. D., 2009. Research Methodology. Excel Books India.
  • Bradshaw, J., 2013. 15 Child poverty and child well-being in comparative perspective. A handbook of comparative social policy.
  • Brewer, M., Browne, J. and Sutherland, H., 2015. Micro-simulating child poverty in 2010 and 2020. Children.
  • Cribb, J., Hood, A., Joyce, R. and Phillips, D., 2013. Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2013 (No. R81). IFS Reports, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Daniel, S. P. and Sam, G. A., 2011. Research Methodology. Gyan Publishing House.
  • Dowler, E. A. and O’Connor, D., 2012. Rights-based approaches to addressing food poverty and food insecurity in Ireland and UK. Social Science & Medicine.
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