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Britain’s poorest children : severe & persistent poverty and social exclusion

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posted on 14.11.2006, 11:07 authored by Laura Adelman, Sue Middleton, Karl Ashworth
The current Labour government has made a commitment to abolish child poverty in Britain by 2020. In its efforts to do so, a number of targets have been established and indicators of progress are being reviewed annually. However, tackling severe child poverty does not feature in these targets or indicators. In fact, although there is now a wealth of information about child poverty in Britain, very little is known about either the extent of severe child poverty or the children who are affected. As a result, we do not know whether different policy measures are required to move these children out of poverty. To try and fill this knowledge gap, Save the Children UK commissioned the Centre for Research in Social Policy to investigate severe child poverty. Two areas of particular importance were identified: material deprivation combined with low income as an indicator of severe poverty and the extent to which severe poverty persists over time. Therefore, in this study severe child poverty was defined and analysed in two ways: 1. Children who experienced a combination of household income poverty, child deprivation and parental deprivation 2. Children who lived in households that experienced income poverty which was both persistent and severe. The research also aimed to establish whether severely poor children were more likely to experience different dimensions of social exclusion than other children. A wide range of dimensions was investigated but, broadly speaking, covered exclusion from social activities, services (including education) and citizenship, friendships and support, living in adequate housing or in an adequate local area, financial security.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Research Unit

  • Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP)


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ADELMAN, MIDDLETON and ASHTON-BROOKS, 2003. Britain’s poorest children : severe & persistent poverty and social exclusion. London : Save the Children.


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This report is also available at: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/scuk_cache/scuk/cache/cmsattach/948_poorestchildren.pdf





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