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This paper examines how ‘welfare state’ and ‘welfare’ have been displaced by a ‘social development’ agenda within New Zealand. The discussion outlines a growing attention to language and the place of vocabulary and discourse as a valid research agenda. The paper then traces the end of welfare and the rise of ‘social development’, assessing the impact on citizenship debates. It suggests reasons why ‘social development’ must be handled carefully given its assumptions around temporality, its elevation of the market, the diminishing of the social, the stunted vision of development and its peculiar view of progress.
Against a historical and contemporary backdrop of queer sexualities in India, this paper discusses certain approaches towards agenda setting using the Multiple Streams policy framework (Kingdon, 1984; Zahariadis, 1999) to change Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises non-normative sexual activities. The paper attempts to map the path of legal challenge to Section 377 and focus on the process of agenda setting as a crucial step in the campaign towards social policy change. It then examines some of the current trends and developments that, if used efficaciously through agenda setting, may result in a unique policy window opportunity.
Research in one local authority area suggests that a number of social policy difficulties and contradictions need to be resolved if single homeless people are to be resettled effectively. In particular, there are competing pressures on social housing providers, who are expected to meet the needs of socially excluded individuals while also creating sustainable communities and operating in a cost efficient manner. The government needs to clarify that meeting housing need is a priority for social landlords, and provide adequate funding for long-term support, if single homeless people are to find appropriate permanent accommodation.
Children's lives have been transformed over the past century. Family incomes have increased, children lead lives that are more solitary, attitudes to childhood have changed, new products have been developed and commercial pressures on children have increased. The importance of these commercial pressures is analysed. Do children understand advertising? How is child poverty affected? How does increased materialism affect psychological well-being? The issues raised for public policy are discussed in terms of children's freedom.
Since 1997, Labour has redistributed welfare spending to caregivers, especially parents. Two primary aims of this policy were getting more mothers into paid work and reducing child poverty. But the implications are more complicated than this. All households with children have gained, and especially those on low and middle incomes. But lone parents and mothers and fathers in couple households have each been affected differently. Defining what constitutes ‘money for care’ is a prerequisite for normative discussion on how the social costs of caregiving should be shared between and within households.
Themed Section on The Poverty of Policy? Gaps in Anti-Poverty Policy for Children and Young People
The focus of this themed section is on identifying gaps in anti-poverty policy towards children and young people. The idea to address this question originated at the conference ‘A Fairer Society? A Review of Policies for Vulnerable Groups’ organised by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University in September 2006. The section offers a combination of papers from the conference (Bradshaw and Richardson; Smith; Sutton) and papers commissioned specifically to deal with gaps in anti-poverty policy towards children and young people (Lloyd; France; Phung). An overview of some useful sources has also been included (Davis and Sandu).
New Labour's national childcare and family support strategies have been aimed at improving mothers' labour market participation and children's future educational achievements. As such, they constitute a key component of the child poverty agenda. HM Treasury has assumed a pivotal role in furthering the strategies' objectives. This article explores whether the mixed market economy selected as the vehicle to deliver childcare and family support provision, promotes separate markets for the poor and the better off, while hindering the achievement of child poverty strategy outcomes.
The central emphasis of New Labour's anti-poverty strategy has been on tackling child poverty. While such an approach is both important and valuable youth poverty has been given limited attention. Low and unstable incomes are a major cause of poverty amongst young people and risks are greatly increased as they try to live independently and move out of the family home. In the discussion that follows, I argue that New Labour's continued commitment to the social exclusion agenda has marginalised both the problem of youth poverty and the necessary solutions. Social exclusion policy is more concerned with responsiblising families and young people and disciplining them to work regardless of its value. Little attention is given to addressing the problems of youth incomes or providing adequate housing support for those most vulnerable to poverty.
Since announcing its ambitious pledge to eradicate child poverty, the Government's strategy has focused on providing extra income to families, particularly in terms of tax credits, and on increasing employment rates among parents. Recently, however, its strategy has developed to encompass a new emphasis on job retention, career progression and smoothing movement into and out of work, all of which should serve to safeguard and support children's movement out of poverty. With reference to poverty dynamics research, this article discusses why this new emphasis is crucial for reducing child poverty and highlights the possible future direction of developing policy in this light.
To date the main indicator used to compare the well-being of children in industrialised countries has been the proportion of children in income poverty. This article exploits data from recent work developing indices of child well-being in EU, OECD and CEE/CIS countries to explore whether child income poverty is a good representation of a wider understanding of child well-being. Using the poverty estimates in each index, as well as more recent estimates for the European Union, we find that for OECD countries income poverty still has some explanatory power but this is not the case for EU and CEE/CIS countries.
There is little research that explicitly compares the lives of children from different social backgrounds, particularly with regard to their freedom, safety, and use of public space. Drawing on the findings of a participatory research project with 42 children from different socio-economic backgrounds, this article shows how and why children's play differs depending on their social background. It also highlights the importance of street play in the lives of disadvantaged children, arguing that they engage in street play as a consequence of having less space and fewer alternatives, and yet their opportunities for play are further restricted due to local development and community ‘policing’. The article calls for the safeguarding of open public space, and an increased recognition of the importance and value of street play. Finally, it points out the contradictions in government policy regarding children's play and well-being.
This review article explores the evidence on child poverty rates amongst different ethnic groups in the UK. The Labour Government aims to end child poverty by 2020. Its strategy rests on improving employability, making work pay and expanding childcare provision. But child poverty rates among ethnic minorities are higher than among white people, which suggests that policies to reduce these have been ineffectual. The factors underlying this differential include labour market disadvantage, insensitive mainstream services and the language barriers that may cause low take-up of services, benefits and tax credits. The article concludes by suggesting a number of policy strategies that government could take to reduce the levels of child poverty amongst ethnic minorities.
In addition to the references cited in each article, below are some other sources relevant to the topics covered by the preceding articles. Although most refer to domestic policy measures, a few offer a more comparative, international perspective. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, rather a selection of material from a range of sources aiming to provide additional breadth and depth for those interested in child poverty and policy.