How can we reduce family poverty in the UK? What are the underlying causes? And what impact do different interventions have?
This lunch-time talk launches the findings of the TIHR’s robust review of the latest policy and evidence on Personal Relationships and Poverty (2013-15), commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) to inform the development of a new UK Anti-poverty Strategy.
In the UK 20% of all households live in poverty and families with children are the biggest group. An increasing number of people are using food banks to avoid hunger. Personal relationships and life events can cause or contribute to economic hardship – through divorce/separation, estrangement from family, the birth of children – or alleviate it – through the provision of free childcare or elder care, or pooling resources in three-generation households.
The talk explores the links between poverty and personal (predominately family) relationships, and crucially, the effectiveness of ‘what works’ in poverty-reduction strategies in the area of parenting, couple relationships and their breakdown, lone parents and extended families (including grandparents, kinship care, sibling, peer and community relationships). The project uses innovative methods to disseminate its findings, including a short animation as a powerful awareness-raising tool, themed policy briefings and an e-communications strategy to promote the research over social media.
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The study builds on the TIHR’s specialism and extensive experience in the area of family relationships, including separation and divorce, relationship support, parenting and gender relations. In recent years it has undertaken a series of national studies in this area, including the DfE funded outcome evaluation of Relationship Support Interventions (2011-14) evaluating couple counselling providers Relate, Marriage Care, Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, and Asian Family Counselling Service; the Evaluation of Child Poverty Pilots for Improved Services for Separated Families (2009-11) commissioned by DfE; a three-year national research project onSeparated Families: How Mainstream Services Support Disadvantaged Children and their Non-Resident Parents for the Big-Lottery Fund (2006-9), alongside theEvaluation of the Parenting Fund (DfE 2008).
Read the policy briefing on Personal Relationships and Poverty.
Laura Stock is an experienced researcher in the area of poverty, relationships and vulnerable families, particularly with BAMER groups. She has worked on all of the TIHR family studies in recent years, managing the JRF Personal Relationships and Poverty Review (2013-15), the evaluation of the Child Poverty Pilots for Separating Families (2009-11), and most recently, the DfE Evaluation of the Adoption Support Fund (2015-17) providing therapeutic help to adoptive families.
Judy Corlyon is a leading expert in parenting, relationships and family poverty. She has directed numerous research studies in these areas and led the TIHR stream of work on children, young people and families. Her publications include a previous JRF review (Parenting and Poverty, 2007) and ‘Unpacking the Relationship between Parenting and Poverty: Theory, Evidence and Policy’ (Social Policy and Society, 2015). In March 2015 she was a guest speaker at the Parenting Across Scotland 10th Anniversary Conference.
Cristina Castellanos is an economist specialising in public policies, labour market and gender mainstreaming. She brings an international understanding of the impacts of public policies on relations, poverty, labour marker participation, childcare arrangements, social inclusion and individual and household dynamics and decision-making.
Matthew Gieve brings research and evaluation experience in relationship support interventions, mental health, non-resident parents, family separation, and teenage parenting and in addition to contributing to the JRF review of personal relationships and poverty (2013-15) has undertaken evaluations of Relationship Support Interventions and Child Poverty Pilots for the Department for Education (DfE 2011-14, DfE 2009-11).
The talk: Personal Relationships and Poverty: What Works as Anti-Poverty Strategies is part of the Tavistock Institute’s Food for Thought series.