Britain’s Poorest Children: Severe and persistent poverty and social exclusion

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Save the Children UK

The current Labour government has made a commitment to abolish child poverty in Britain by 2020. In its efforts to do so, a number of targets have been established and indicators of progress are being reviewed annually. However, tackling severe child poverty does not feature in these targets or indicators. In fact, although there is now a wealth of information about child poverty in Britain, very little is known about either the extent of severe child poverty or the children who are affected. As a result, we do not know whether different policy measures are required to move these children out of poverty.

To try and fill this knowledge gap, Save the Children UK commissioned the Centre for Research in Social Policy to investigate severe child poverty. Two areas of particular importance were identified: material deprivation combined with low income as an indicator of severe poverty and the extent to which severe poverty persists over time. The research also aimed to establish whether severely poor children were more likely to experience different dimensions of social exclusion than other children.

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