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Addressing Child Poverty in the UK - Essay Example

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Critical examination of the evolution of social policy reveals that the wellbeing and education of citizens, families, and children is interwoven with cultural, political, and economic considerations…
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Addressing Child Poverty in the UK
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Download file to see previous pages This limiting of considerations and change in social policies is not simply a development in UK’s guiding principles toward families and children within its frontier, but is applied to promote a specific political objective across the globe. The child poverty program of Labour is driven by the broadening of inequality and increase in social exclusion in the UK throughout the past two decades and specifically the worsening in the conditions of UK children in comparison to other vulnerable groups. This has shown that the main social objective of the government of the UK has increasingly turned into addressing child poverty. The UK government is viewing and treating poverty not only as a symptom of socioeconomic disparity, but as a force producing resource deficit and hampering the educational achievement and growth of children. Social policy refers to the study of the structure and provision of public services, security, and welfare within countries. Its emphasis is on the means in which various countries interpret and address the demands and needs of their citizens (Micklewright & Stewart 2000, 89). Basically, social policy is an applied discourse which tackles the provision and organisation of resources for the fulfilment of social needs. This paper will analyse and discuss the development of UK government’s social policy since 1997, particularly in relation to child poverty, along with two other related policy areas, namely, child abuse and low educational attainment. There have been substantial disparities in child poverty between countries over the past two decades. In some societies, particularly the UK, the extent of child poverty broadened significantly, whereas in other European countries it did not (Hills 1998, 8). Rather, different types of welfare state safeguarded revenue and expenses flowing to children. This refers to the mutual connection between children’s citizenship or political representation and their cultural and social representation. This demands both reassessing the segregation and exclusion of children from the society and re-evaluating the commonplace but negative stereotypes of children that govern political discourse (Dobrowolsky 2002, 45). Nevertheless, there is a vital link between children’s influence in policymaking and political discussion and the culturally and socially constructed paradigms in which children are viewed. Moreover, several studies have emphasised the connection between child poverty and a number of forms of child abuse, particularly physical and emotional maltreatment, and neglect (Devaney & Spratt 2009, 2). There is no major research that explicitly studied the nature of the connection between child poverty and child abuse in the UK, yet the widespread assumption focuses on the stress variables related with social exclusion and poverty, which are aggravated if mental health problems and substance abuse come about (Devaney & Spratt 2009, 2). Hence, in order to successfully support and protect vulnerable families and children, there should be more understanding and knowledge of the effects of material and social deprivation, and the various kinds of difficulties that families and children are confronting have to be acknowledged if their demands and needs are to be successfully addressed. Furthermore, aside from child abuse, child poverty in the UK is now being felt in the education sector. For instance, there are empirical reports of behavioural and psychological disparities by socioeconomic standing, in at least 2-year-old children (MacBeath, Gray, Cullen, et al. 2006, 82). Alongside supporting the growth and development of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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