Poverty can have a huge effect on children and young people’s development. Overall poverty removes choices from people’s lives, their choices are limited to what they can do and afford rather than what they want or need. Which is why poverty is 1 of the 5 on the agenda of the Every child matters framework stating every child should ‘achieve wealth and economic well-being’. We all as parent’s carers have a roles and responsibilities within our community to promote this.
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Some impacts and outcomes for children and young people are: Communities in poverty may not have local amenities such as play schools, mother and toddler groups and usually have higher risk of gangs and anti-social behaviour within their neighborhood, which may reduce their play in a safe outdoor environment. Poor diet due to low income, lone parent etc. They may not be able to afford the type of food that gives them a balanced and healthy diet.
Families will want to buy cheaper food, which is processed and has more fat and sugar in it. This kind of food leads to a lack of concentration and obesity, which further leads to health issues such as heart problems. Health problems can influence a child’s outcome in life as there would be limits to opportunities. Education - higher chance of children from deprived areas getting lower grades due to lack of space or facilities such as computers, internet books etc.
leading to them not attending further education - affecting future job prospects - lower paid jobs, poor working conditions, unsecure jobs. Lack of motivation and guidance - the overall journey to better them self seems too long and almost impossible, therefore it is not worth trying. Without guidance children do not learn the correct ways to behave. This will cause them to come into conflict at school because they do not know or understand acceptable boundaries.
They may be unaware of the dangers they can face in life. They may have a distorted view of their own abilities and may believe that they are allowed to do what they want because they are never prevented. They may believe they are unloved, unimportant and unvalued and as they grow older this could lead to depression and self-harming. The lack of boundaries could result in them becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. They may struggle to form social relationships because of their lack of personal hygiene.
Poor clothing could lead to bullying and teasing, causing them to withdraw and become isolated. According to ‘Every Child Matters’ if a young person between 16 and 18years is ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ (NEET) then they will suffer from continuing to not be employed, low income and health issues. It is also said that young people that are NEET have a high chance of becoming young parents, getting involved with unhealthy lifestyles, such as crime, drugs, alcohol and poor diets.
So poverty plays a big part in a child or young person’s outcomes and life chances. Living in an area of poverty is not only a lack of food and clothing, but also a lack of resources to enable children to participate in activities that educate them and socialise with others, which can encourage them to fulfil their dreams and aspirations. People not living in poverty tend to get more opportunities than those living in poverty as people in general tend to respect them more.