An evidence review of the drivers of child poverty for families in poverty now and for poor children growing up to be poor adults

Document type
Literature review
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Department for Work and Pensions
Publisher
TSO
Date of publication
1 February 2014
Series
Cm 8781
Subject(s)
Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion, Children and Young People, Education and Skills, Families
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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This evidence review looks at the key factors that make it harder for for some families to escape from poverty and that make some poor children more likely to become poor adults. From the range of academic and institutional evidence reviewed it is confidently concluded that focusing on children likely to be stuck in poverty for longer is important – those children affected suffer the worst outcomes and are at greatest risk of becoming poor adults. The key factor driving current child poverty is parental worklessness and low earnings. The other main factors include low parental qualifications, parental ill health, family instability and family size. There are a range of factors that increase the risk of a poor child growing up to be a poor adult. The most influential factor is child educational attainment. Other main factors (all of which act to some extent through educational attainment) are: low parental qualifications, parental ill health, child ill health, the home environment, children’s non-cognitive skills and childhood poverty itself.

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