What is Child Poverty, its Key Causes and Impacts?
As a result of the economic crisis, the amount of children in risk of poverty is growing. Poverty is considered to be lack of access to financial resources, services and chances for the young people to develop, become successful, confident and flourish. Children in poverty are those ones living in families in low income and who can’t meet the adequate standard of life. The failure to protect young people from deprivation is one of the significant mistakes which one society could admit.
The highest price is paid by the children, but the society is facing a cost as well: less people with good qualification, lower productivity, poor health education, high risk of unemployment and dependence to social benefits, and loss of community connection. This is the reason why the Government and many independent organisations, like CPAG, Barnardos, JRF, Save the Children, e.g., make a strong attempt to find the solution and end the children poverty, obtaining an efficient resolution required to analyse the problem in his dept. To understand what stands behind the meaning we have to examine the factors included in Child Poverty measurement, what causes it and the impacts.
It’s difficult to clarify the definition of child poverty and to observe the number of young people living in it. To specify the problem, the Government has generated a “multidimensional measure of child poverty”. The elements in this measurement are created on researches of what’s causing the privation and how it impacts on children’s lives. The first element is the “Income”. It’s holding the leader position in the adolescent’s life, for example, the parents on low income cannot afford to buy accurate clothes and healthy food.
The Government is taking into account the “Material Deprivation” as well. This measure includes factors like the frequency of enjoyable activities and social gatherings families can perform like birthday celebrations, friend’s visits and community meetings.
Another component is the “Poor housing”. Poor housing is an unheated home, congested, overloaded or in unsafe area. Living in that environment can have an instant impact on children’s health, comfort and self-esteem.
“Access to Quality Education” is another important component. Attending a school with satisfying facilities and outstanding teachers can emancipate the achievement in children, where the opposite – attending a falling school, could put a stop on a child’s motivation and future success. That’s why the Government registered it as an important part of the child poverty measurement.
Another main point is “Family Stability”. Children growing in aggressive surroundings, with violent parents and children witnessing divorcement are more likely to develop mental and physical illnesses and behaviour.
The last element, “Parental Health”, has a remarkable effect upon young people. Looking after their ill parents can put a barrier children’s progress.
Multiple factors could cause child poverty, but some of them are very difficult to be identified. That’s why we will look at most remarkable ones.
“Workless” is a significant component. This can cause depressive conditions, alcoholism and loss of confidentiality in some parents. It has a negative interference in children’s wellbeing as well, expressed in an inadequate behaviour, lack of interests in future realization and less independence.
Additional cause is “Unmanageable Debt.” The inaccurate financial management can leave parents with less or no money to cover the primary needs of their children. Furthermore, consumer research published in Relate Argument Survey (1998) have found that the “money issues are the main cause of arguments within couples,” expanding the dangers of family breakdown and stress in youngsters.
Working doesn’t always mean that people are far from poverty. There are two more important factors to be mentioned here: the “Parental Skill Level” and “Low Paid Work”. The lack of good qualifications increases the chances of unemployment or low payment. The results are low-income and deprivation. Many circumstances within the family life can cause child poverty, including ineffective beneficial system, disability, e.g., lone parents’ households.
Growing up in indigent background has irreversible consequences among children’s welfare, their personality, emotional development and future potential. The poverty affects children’s physical, emotional and psychological health. Injuries and death in youngsters are closely linked to livelihood in poor housings and unsafe areas where the risks factors, like main busy roads and crime, are higher.
A range of chronic conditions, like asthma, diabetes and dental caries, iron deficiency anaemia, cerebral palsy, low birth weight and preterm birth are associated with the social deprivation. Acute illness, pneumonia and tubercular infection are greater among children in social disadvantage. Poor behaviour and emotional problems in children are socially patterned. The crime offences in children, underage pregnancies and teenage motherhood are more common in deprived and disadvantaged communities.
Infants born in poor families often develop delay in speech and understanding, and , according to Social Mobility: Narrowing Social Class Educational Attainment Gaps, DfES, (2006)” This gap grows over time, with many poor children failing two years behind by the age of 14.” Many children living in poverty leave school early or without qualification. This has long-lasting impact on their lives because as adults they are facing unemployment, low-income and emotional discomforts.
Economic, social and political development of the UK, to some extent, depends on whether children grow up happy, healthy, well educated, protected and confident in themselves. Childhood is short, but it has strong imprint on human life. Children that don’t go to school or have lower qualifications and children that don’t receive good health care may become the marginal part of society for the rest of their lives.
By investing in children, the Government can help them break the cycle of poverty which they inherit from their parents. Ending the child poverty can result in an overall reduction of deprivation in the society, preventing the new generation from misery and isolation.