Children whose parents move in and out of work are worse off
than those whose families stay on benefits, according to a new
The research, carried out for the charity Save the Children,
found that almost two thirds of children in severe and persistent
poverty had experienced a parent moving in and out of
The charity calls on the government to introduce a more flexible
benefits system to improve financial protection for children in
times of change. It cites ways of doing this as including reducing
delays in re-starting benefits after temporary work and to improve
benefit take-up in families with changing circumstances.
It adds that without such action ministers are in danger of
missing their target of halving child poverty by 2010 and
abolishing it altogether by 2020.
Other findings show that although paid work is the best
protection from poverty it does not always prevent it, particularly
in households with only one worker.
The study, which was carried out by researchers at the Centre
for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, looked at
4,000 British children throughout the 1990s and found that nearly
one in 10 experienced severe and persistent poverty.