A major new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has highlighted the importance of family relationships and their impact on poverty across the UK.

UK Poverty, Causes, Costs and Solutions’, published by JRF on 6th September, outlines what it means to live in poverty and offers realistic suggestions for actions that would make a tangible difference to the lives of families across the UK.

The report highlights the invaluable contribution that parents make and the impact of living in poverty: “Parents raising children in poverty  do an extraordinary job, raising children in very difficult and challenging circumstances. Financial difficulties can have a significant impact on the mental health and relationships of parents, which in turn can affect the development and mental health of the children.” (p.90).

The report goes on to make specific recommendations regarding supporting family life and relationships, including the following:

  • Parenting and relationship support should be a priority
  • Central and local government should fund relationship support for couples and parents, with a strong focus on preventing poverty
  • Increased funding for early intervention and parenting programmes

This report echoes many of the experiences of the Relationships Scotland Network. We know the challenges that face many families across Scotland and the difficulties that children and families experience when support isn’t delivered in time.

The full report can be accessed here:  https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/uk-poverty-causes-costs-and-solutions It is a lengthy report, however the section on Childhood Poverty in particular offers much in relation to the work that we do.

Many of the report’s recommendations also mirror the approaches that we have been advocating in our recent Manifesto (attached for your information).

Significant publications like this report from JRF further highlight the very real difference our work makes in the lives of the people who come to our services and I am pleased to recommend its reading to you.


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