This interesting book is based on research carried out with 200 families over a seven-year period (1998 to 2005).
They were visited annually over this period and were found to be struggling with “much harsher neighbourhood conditions than most people can imagine and this directly affects their ability to cope”.
Twenty-four of these families, six from each area, explain over time how neighbourhoods affect family survival.
The book contains a wealth of quotations mainly from mothers, who often have little voice, setting a sharp qualitative edge on this valuable research, which exposes neighbourhood problems in the raw.
The stories convey powerful messages about the problems they want tackled and the things that would help them.
These families are trapped in poor conditions and are highly dependent on local amenities and community. They have to negotiate high levels of risk. Families in all regions faced similar issues, but there was more of a sense of community in the North. This is highly valuable reading for all practitioners.
Andrew Durham, consultant practitioner and independent child care consultant