Tavistock Institute launches an animation and series of policy briefings on family poverty for JRF.
How are families affected by poverty over their lifecycle? What are the underlying causes? What works in reducing poverty in the area of family relationships? A new animation and policy briefing by the Tavistock Institute has been published today supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). This is the first in a series on family poverty aimed at policy-makers and practitioners.
Watch the animation
Twenty percent of the UK lives in poverty and families with children are the biggest group . This is the stark figure confronting the new government as it takes office. Poverty is also a cost that the government cannot afford in this time of austerity – child poverty alone costs an estimated £29 billion per year . Different events in people’s lives like the birth of children or family separation can cause or increase the risks of poverty, but family relationships can also help alleviate poverty, such as pooling of resources in three-generation households or having child maintenance in place. Government policy is key in reducing the risks of family poverty and improving family relationships and outcomes.
The Tavistock Institute was commissioned by JRF to develop an animation and a series of policy briefings on what works in reducing poverty in the area of family relationships. This was based on wider research on Personal Relationships and Poverty, as part of JRF’s programme to develop a set of evidence-based, anti-poverty strategies for the UK. Over the next few months the Tavistock Institute will be releasing briefings on different areas such as poverty and parenthood, lone parents, family separation, and extended families such as grandparents.
What works in reducing poverty in the area of family relationships?
Anti-poverty policies that reconcile tensions and promote equal choices between family members – mothers, fathers, lone parents, separated and extended families – in how to balance work and care, reduce the risk of family poverty. Policies are needed that:
Balance work and care tensions:
- Equal and non-transferable parental leave paid at a high proportion of previous earnings.
- Affordable and good quality childcare.
Improve family finances:
- Increasing the threshold of universal credit in-work benefits, plus training and support to make work pay.
- Sustainable child maintenance.
- Keeping state pensions and credit at an adequate level.
Reduce conflict and improve family relationships:
- Relationship support and couple counselling.
- Holistic support for separated families.
Read the policy briefing on Personal Relationships and Poverty.
Project Lead: Laura Stock
 DWP (2014a) Households Below Average Income: An analysis of the income distribution 1994/5–2012/13 London: DWP
 Hirsch, D. (2013) An Estimate of the Cost of Child Poverty in 2013 London: CPAG