Practitioners fail to see relevance of term poverty for case work

The government must communicate better with practitioners to engage them in the battle to eradicate child poverty by 2020, research published this week has found.

The study on practitioners’ perspectives on child poverty, commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, found professionals, including social workers, did not see how the concept of poverty was relevant to their work with disadvantaged families.


They found the term stigmatising and a barrier to engaging with families, preferring terms such as “children in need”, the report found. Professionals, including welfare rights advisers and health visitors, did not spontaneously associate their roles with addressing child poverty, seeing themselves as tackling disadvantage in a broader sense.

This week’s study, based on interviews with 57 practitioners in five areas, called on the government’s child poverty unit to “develop a shared terminology” with practitioners on child poverty and clarify their roles in tackling it, by making links between their day-to-day work and the strategy.

• Practitioners’ perspectives on child poverty from

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