WGPlus (Archive)

Helping workless families break the cycle of disadvantage

Research shows the profound impact that parents who are workless, and experiencing a range of associated problems, can have on children’s chances of success.

The new analysis shows children in workless families are almost twice as likely to not reach the expected level at all stages of their education.  Three quarters of children from families where no one works failed to reach the expected level at GCSE, compared to around half of children in lower-income working families.

An estimated 300,000 workless families are potentially affected by conflict between parents.  Research also suggests that children’s emotional, behavioural and educational success are strongly influenced by their parents’ relationship.

Children whose parents are in long-term, unresolved conflict with one another – whether or not their parents are together – are less likely to do well in school and in adulthood.  A child is also more likely to do well if they have a close, supportive relationship with their father and this is made more difficult when separated parents are in conflict.  Only half of children in separated families see their non-resident parent every fortnight or more.

To help address one of these root causes of disadvantage, the government has announced an innovative new programme, backed by £30m, to help parents resolve conflict and improve children’s chances of succeeding in life.
Researched Links:

DWP:  New support to help workless families and improve children’s lives

IPPR:  Close to a million households in Income Crisis every year

JRF:  Social justice needs to go beyond helping workless families

CLG:  Troubled Families Programme annual report published

CSJ:  Troubled Families Keep Troubling Governments

JRF: Welfare reform - Government must press ahead with Universal Credit, but crucial changes needed to support struggling families

ScotGov:  Families with children hardest hit by UK welfare changes

PC&PE:  Government must learn from catastrophic failure of tax credits contract

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