Delivering on Child Poverty: What Would it Take?; a Report for the Department for Work and Pensions

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The Stationery Office, Nov 1, 2006 - Social Science - 62 pages
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The UK has comparatively high levels of child poverty: around one in five children are living in relative poverty (defined as living in a household with below 60 per cent median income before housing costs). The Government has made significant progress on reducing child poverty, with 700,000 less children in poverty than in 1988/89 (when the figure was 3.4 million), but missed its interim target of reducing child poverty by a quarter by 2004/05. It is unlikely, with current policies, to meet its 2010 target of halving child poverty, nor the 2020 target of eliminating it. This report recommends reforms to the Welfare to Work and New Deal for Lone Parents programmes. They should be more attuned to the particular needs of parents, who need guidance, support and skills to progress in work. They should not just encourage parents to take any job rather than one that offers them good long-term prospects, or leads to parents "cycling" between having a job and being out of work. Moreover, many children in poverty live in families that have no contact with Welfare to Work programmes. Jobcentre Plus, the agency that is charged with reducing joblessness, needs to focus more on the family, providing more flexible packages of support and seeking a wider customer reach. If necessary other agencies might have to be involved in delivering the recommendations. The author makes a number of recommendations for immediate implementation; others are for action after evaluation; and several new pilot schemes are also suggested.

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Background to the report
The scale of the task
Work First Plus
Extending the reach
The contribution of other policies

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