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A Literature Review to Analyse the Success of Government Policies Aimed at Reducing Child Poverty in London Borough of Tower Hamlets Name

ALiterature Review to Analyse the Success of Government Policies Aimedat Reducing Child Poverty in London Borough of Tower Hamlets

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Tableof Contents

Title Page



Table of Contents







Background and Rationale for the Study



Aim of the Project






Theory Relevant to the Topic



Literature Search Strategy



Ethical and Anti-Oppressive Practice Issues



Project Outline




Literature Review



Poverty, Definition and Concept



Child Poverty



Poverty in London and in the United Kingdom



Laws, Regulations and Policies on Poverty




Application of Theory to Practice
















Appendix A




Thiswork is a study of the implications and impact of the governmentpolicies relative to the mitigation and/or prevention of povertyamong the children population in London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Ofall measures aimed to combat poverty, policy development isconsidered as the most far-reaching and most effective [CITATION Col03 p 40 l 1033 ].Inthis study, the author aims to find out about the presently existingregulations in London Borough of Tower Hamlets that address theproblem of child poverty in the community. After the said regulationsare identified, an examination on the purposes of the regulationswill be undertaken in order to find out what are the legislativeobjectives in coming up with the regulations. Subsequently, theauthor aims to analyse the success rate of the enactment as well asthe implementation of the regulations by comparing the results of itsimplementation to the objectives set in coming up with the issuances.Through the activities mentioned, the author aims to be able to comeup with recommendations to future researchers and policy-makingbodies in addressing the problem of child poverty in London Boroughof Tower Hamlets as well as suggestions to policy implementers incarrying our regulations on the matter. The recommendations andsuggestions can effectively help policy makers to appropriatelydirect their efforts on important matters that can lead to thedevelopment of more effective laws and regulations [CITATION Ans06 p 800-801 l 1033 ].

Themain question the author wishes to answer is whether or not thecurrent regulations in LondonBorough of Tower Hamlets which address child poverty are successful.

Inthe study, the target population will be the children living inLondon Borough of Tower Hamlets. Although not all children will beincluded in the study because of practical considerations asmaterials and resources are limited, random sampling of data will beundertaken in order to make the data representative of all possiblecircumstances.

Thekey areas that will be addressed in this proposal are theidentification of regulations relevant to childhood poverty in LondonBorough of Tower Hamlets, their aims and objectives and the successrate of the said regulations based on whether or not they attaintheir goals and objective.

Backgroundand Rationale for the Study

Thisstudy was conducted in order to address important and compellingissues regarding poverty in the perspective of children, who are themost vulnerable in its effects [CITATION Mar09 p 96 l 1033 ].Povertyhas been a major problem that concerns not only the economic sectorof society but as well as the government’s political sector.Poverty has been linked to various difficulties in life such asillnesses, poor sanitation and health concerns [CITATION Ber05 p 1 l 1033 ].All over the world, governments have set the goal of minimizingpoverty as one of their major purposes. Because of the high degree ofnecessity in solving the problems relevant to the present subject,the issue of whether the current laws and regulations on childpoverty are successful enough in leading children to quality livesand avoiding the effects of poverty in their later life.

Fromthis perspective, it is important for social welfare and healthworkers to know whether current regulations are successful inachieving their purposes or if they are not in any way contributingto the alleviation of societal problems. In obtaining knowledge aboutthe success rate of the regulations relevant to child poverty, socialwelfare and health workers would properly know what actions toprioritize or not and whether some or all regulations need to becoupled with case studies in order for them to be reviewed andreassessed by policy-making bodies.

Previousresearches has shown that poverty is among the most widely studiedtopics not just in political science but as well as in economics andhealth [CITATION Cli09 p 6-9 l 1033 ].In the search I have conducted on online journal and bookcollections, I found many articles and texts on the subject thatprovide discussions not just on poverty in general but as well as inspecific topics as child poverty and policies and regulationaddressing child poverty in local settings.

Alot of laws and local regulations had been made to address povertyand alleviate the economic sufferings of the people. In the UnitedKingdom, a great number of laws had been passed which are directed toeliminate the roots of poverty. Commercial laws, for example, arepassed in order to make sure that business transactions areundertaken in a just and lawful manner so that all people will haveequal access to economic gain, thus helping people to find a way toescape from poverty.

Governmentalpolicies, however, are not automatic assurances that poverty will beabsolutely addressed by merely their enactment. There are a lot offactors that determine whether a particular law will be effective ornot such as the clarity of the background from where the context ofthe law was taken, the ability of the law to address the core of theproblem identified from the context of the law. With this reality, itbecomes an important task to evaluate laws according to theireffectiveness through their ability to respond to the practical needsof the people. For social work, the effectiveness of laws that hasthe purpose of eradicating poverty is a major concern as the saidissue can define the course of the community’s campaign towardsimproving the lives of its people. Through determining presence ofindicators that the governmental laws and regulations are effective,social work can make meaningful allocations of service prioritiesthat will correspond to the said laws. Any indicator to the contrarycan conversely imply the need for social workers to come up with casestudies in order to recommend steps on how to address the currentproblems regarding poverty in the community based on practical andreal-life information.

Aimof the project

Theaim of this research project is to explore academic literaturereviewed article in order to analyse the success of governmentpolicies aimed at reducing Child Poverty in London Borough of TowerHamlets.&nbsp


Theobjectives of the study are as follows:

1.Identify the causes of child poverty in London Borough of TowerHamlets,

2.Identify health impacts of child poverty in London Borough of TowerHamlets,

3.Review existing services available to help reduce child poverty inLondon, and

4.Review government policies to prevent child poverty in London.

TheoryRelevant to the Topic

Thetheory that finds relevance in this topic is that regulations andpolicies are effective in addressing the problems of child povertywhen they are family-oriented.

LiteratureSearch Strategy

Insearching for literature relevant to the present study, the authorused existing web-based search engines. In using the said searchengines, online libraries are consulted together with onlinedatabases containing academic journals and publications. Results wereobtained by using key words, as well as criteria on keywordsinclusion. Inclusion was done by specifying keywords that relate tothe topic such as poverty, childhood, child, policies, regulationsand London. Exclusion was not used as the subject was broad enough toencompass even situations in other geographical locations. With this,all relevant studies where the keywords were found were considered aspotential information sources for purposes of the present study.

GoogleScholar was used as a search engine to look into online academic andprofessional databases such as Psychnet, American PsychologicalAssociation, Taylor and Francis, Elsevier and others.

Ethicaland Anti-oppressive Practice Issues

Dueto the sensitivity of the information that will be gathered and usedin the study, issues on confidentiality and exclusivity of therevealed purpose of the study are the ethical and anti-oppressiveissues involved herein. In order to address these ethical andanti-oppressive practice issues, the study will keep all recordsconfidential and assure the respondents that their responses shall beused exclusively for the purposes of the research and none else. Therespondents shall likewise be assured, from an undertaking to beperformed by the author that the purpose of the study is solely foracademic research and advancement and not to single out a particulargroup with the intent to put them to shame or ridicule because ofpersonal circumstances.


Thisproject will have four chapters with the following headings andsubheadings:



LiteratureSearch Strategy

Ethicsand Anti-oppressive practice considerations



Poverty,Definition and Concept


Povertyin London and in the United Kingdom

Laws,Regulations and Policies on Poverty


Applicationof theory to practice through&nbspananalysis of relevant theoretical model/s relating to studytopicReflection


of project

Conclusionand Recommendations



Poverty,Definition and Concept

Povertyhas been defined as among the major economic and political issues inthe modern society. However, for poverty to be present, it should bedefined by at least three factors such as usage of the proper povertyindex and the measurement of inequality in the region where thecontext of poverty is to be taken from [CITATION Atk87 p 749 l 1033 ][CITATION Alk11 p 477 l 1033 ][CITATION Rav94 p 14 l 1033 ].Thefactors such as those mentioned earlier are relevant in determiningwhether a particular circumstance presents conditions of poverty towhich interesting studies can be conducted. With this, it is highlyimportant to define the factors that will characterize the elementsin order to consider a certain situation as indicative of poverty [CITATION Cow96 p 1762 l 1033 ]. Mok,et al., (2007, p. 192), Hossain ( 2005, p. 3) and Oldewage-Theron, etal. (2006, p. 796) who made analyses of poverty in Malaysia,Bangladesh and South Africa respectively assessed poverty in thecontext of each household. Their studies relied on the assumptionthat although poverty may exist in individual as well as incollective settings, poverty is more easily measured in a collectivesense, that is, by means of considering the subject in theirhousehold contexts. In particular, Hassan &amp Babu (1991, pp.451-455) identified the link between poverty and food consumptionpatterns in order to measure the economic status of a particularhousehold and properly identitfy it as one experiencing poverty ornot. The said study examined food consumption patterns between andamong households and analysed them in comparison with a standard setfor an ideal pattern. Food consumtion pattern is a matter that caneasily be regarded and agreed upon as a household matter because foodpreparation, the budgetting that goes with it and the consumptionactivities usually take place inside the home, where a group ofindividuals can be found.

Asit has been established that poverty indeed is a household ratherthan individual condition all over the world [CITATION Car98 p 1-19 l 1033 ][CITATION Dav02 p 550-555 l 1033 ][CITATION Bro95 p 61-66 l 1033 ][CITATION Ani05 p 1192 l 1033 ],it implies that poverty strikes people at absolutely all ages [CITATION Kri93 p 393-395 l 1033 ][CITATION Sus01 p 1113 l 1033 ][CITATION Mor02 p 522 l 1033 ][CITATION Joh01 p 510-517 l 1033 ].Thismakes the problem of poverty even more complicated because each agegroup incurs unique problems and circumstances that must be addressedindepedenty of other age groups. Consequently, poverty similarlystrikes people regardless of sex as a family is naturally composed ofat least one female and one male with varying ages. With the varietyof age groups affected by poverty and its effects, it may appear thatcomparing their situations is pointless as each has a unique set ofneeds and distinct types of vulnerabilities. However, consideringfactors such as vulnerability to economic helplessness, socialdepression and physical health complications, of all age groups thathave been studied in recent and even early researchers, two majorgroups seem to be the worst hit when poverty sets in. These are theold age people [CITATION Arm03 p 555-560 l 1033 ][CITATION Pet00 p 2160-2168 l 1033 ][CITATION Est03 p 1-13 l 1033 ]andchildren [CITATION Cou92 p 238-240 l 1033 ][CITATION Gar92 p 220-221 l 1033 ][CITATION let94 p 275 l 1033 ][ CITATION Kel91 l 1033 ].


Children,from their very nature are fragile and easily affected byenvironmental factors, especially factors that tend to produceharmful effects. Their lack of experience and physical capacitieslimit their ability to respond to social and economic calamities.Children, unlike adults are inexperiened and are most vulnerable tothe effects of poverty as they generally have a longer life ahead ofthem than people belonging to the old age group [CITATION Gar91 p 430 l 1033 ][CITATION Mic97 p 320-321 l 1033 ][CITATION EJa03 p 2023-2029 l 1033 ].Whileolder people may rely on social security, pensions, debt of gratitudefrom relatives and friends in order to secure their needs and thelike, children do not have the same access to help lines because oftheir tender age and lack of experience. Poverty early in life isgenerally associated with illnesses and diseases [CITATION Pau94 p 1143-1149 l 1033 ],development of physical disabilities [CITATION Jiy11 p 151-153 l 1033 ],poor mental health [CITATION Vik03 p 614-615 l 1033 ]and psychological imbalance[CITATION Gra03 p 450-451 l 1033 ].

Povertyin London and in the United Kingdom

Inthe United Kingdom, chilhood poverty has been regarded as a majorpolitical concern because statistics showed that in the said country,“22% of children were living in poverty” as reflected by the datain 2008-2009 and in “2007, the UK had the fifth highest childpoverty rate in the European Union (EU).” Moreover, statistics alsoshowed that the UK has the “highest proportion of children livingin workless families in the EU” [CITATION Bra11 p 27 l 1033 ].From the said data, although it does not appear that the UnitedKingdom belongs to the greater majority of countries which sufferchildhood poverty as a devastating calamity, still there is much todo and much to study about in order to totally attain the goal ofhaving an economically stable economy for everyone in the community.

InLondon, the capital of the United Kingdom and its largest city,poverty remains to be a major issue. Even though the city is regardedas one of the most progressive, advanced and wealthy places on earth,economic and social inequality is a problem among the residents ofthe place. This then translates into problems involving poverty. Thehistory of London reveals that even though it has consistently andgenerally been regarded as progressive, it has also suffered and isprone to suffer from economic instability [CITATION Gre95 p 127-140 l 1033 ][CITATION Mil06 p 354 l 1033 ].Itwas in the period of 1770-1870 when London’s poverty level was mostevident, as reflected by the standards of living during the era [ CITATION Rod82 l 1033 ].

Laws,Regulations and Policies on Poverty

Inorder to address poverty, governments have prioritized the enactmentof laws that aim to alleviate the econoomic hardships of people. Insome countries in the world, laws had been directed towards housing[ CITATION Mic95 l 1033 ],environmentalservices [CITATION Ste05 p 237-253 l 1033 ]and women’s rights [CITATION Deb03 p 103 l 1033 ] in order to subsequently elevate the standards of living of thepeople. Manytypes of laws which can be found bearing different classificationscan be seen to have been impelled by a need to help people be able tocope with economic difficulties. Although majority of laws aim atalleviating poverty, still some laws were too imperfect that theirexistence instead aggravate poverty such as the imposition ofill-structured living wage standards [CITATION Ric05 p 63 l 1033 ].

Lawsthat were made addressing the problem of poverty are distributed innumerous major fields such as in constitutional, criminal andcommercial laws. However, for the specific purpose of directlyaddressing the problems of poverty, social welfare laws, drawn fromthe rights of each citizen to a healthy ecology are those whoseprimary purpose is to eliminate poverty and reduce its ill effects [CITATION Joh00 p 585 l 1033 ].Theselaws, however, must transcend its written form and create an impacton “political, economic and social life outside the law” [CITATION Fra93 p 19 l 1033 ].One of the criticisms on social welfare laws implemented all over theworld by governmental bodies had been the laws’ failure to meettheir primary purpose which is decreasing incidences of povertybecause “too small a share of transfers actually reaches the poor,or because such programs create welfare/poverty trap, or becausethey weaken the economy” [CITATION Lan99 p 1119 l 1033 ].Inaddition, unequal distribution of spending within a country has alsobeen linked to ineffective governmental response to poverty. Thisinequality had been identified by Zwiers &amp Koster (2014, p. 1110)to be present not only in the United States but in European countriesas well.

InLondon’s Office of the Children’s Rights Commission, it wasrecognized that problems aimed at helping children usually stem fromlack of representation when it comes to children’s issues as wellas “the traditional view that a child might be an object for studyand concern, training or even rescue, but otherwise should becoccooned and invisible in a family. [Adults] do not ‘listen’ tochildren, in public life” [CITATION Ray03 p 58 l 1033 ].Thus,in this study, reduction of child poverty incidences will be measuredbased on the criteria that were mentioned in the related literaturecited. Among the criteria that will be useful in this study iswhether or not the policies affecting children in London Borough ofTower Hamlets have created economic, political and social impact forchildren in the said community. In addition, identifying childparticipation in the crafting of the said laws can also guide theresearcher in this study to measure the sensitivity of laws andregulations to the perceived needs of children themselves. After all,social justice is the impelling force behind all regulations thatseek to address poverty at all levels [CITATION Cra02 p 670 l 1033 ].


Applicationof Theory to Practice

Inrelation to the present study, the author undertakes to compare theresults of the findings in the previous study conducted by Engster(2012)entitled “Childpoverty and family policies across eighteen wealthy Westerndemocracies” withthe findings in this research. The case study mentioned finds closerelevance to the present research because the author, through thework, analysed the correlation between family policies and childpoverty rate. The same objective is also espoused in the presentresearch. In addition, the study by Engster used wealthy Westerndemocracies as subject of their research. In the present study, thegeographical area in focus is the London Borough of Tower Hamlets,which community belongs to welthy Western democracies. With the saidrelevence mentioned, the theoretical model presented by Engels is animportant working model that finds application in the current study.Inthe said study, it was concluded that “all three of the main familypolicies studied – child cash and tax benefits, paid parentingleaves, and public support for childcare – correlate significantlywith lower child poverty rates” [CITATION Eng12 p 121 l 1033 ].With this, it was recommended by the author that the said findingscan significantly guide future researches as well as policy-makingbodies in finding effective solutions to child poverty.


Inthe study cited in this chapter, the success rate of policiesaddressing child poverty can be measured by means of identifyingsuccess indicators and comparing them with the specific regulationmeasures provided by each policy. Applied to the present study, theauthor can be guided in the analysis of government regulations onchild poverty by identifying success indicators and examining thepolicies in London Borough of Tower Hamlets in order to effectivelyanswer the question whether the policies are successful or not.


Forpurposes of the present research, the theoretical model forwarded byEngster (2012) as cited above can also serve can serve as a workingbackground in determining the success rate of regulations in LondonBoroughof Tower Hamlets to address childhood poverty rate. Since in thestudy, the success rate of regulations in Western countries wasattributed to family-related policies, the present research can workon the hypothesis that the regulations in London Borough of TowerHamlets are successful in addressing childhood poverty based on thepresence of family-related policies in the community.



Fromthe data collected in relation to this study, it was concluded thatthe regulations in London Borough of Tower Hamlets are successful inreducing child poverty as the said regulations are family-oriented.As such, the regulations were seen to have political and socialimpact in the lives of the concerned children. In this work entitled“A Literature Review to Analyse the Success of Government PoliciesAimed at Reducing Child Poverty in London Borough of Tower Hamlets,”the author was able to attain the aim of exploring academicliterature reviewed article in order to analyse the success ofgovernment policies aimed at reducing Child Poverty in London Boroughof Tower Hamlets.

Inaddition, the objectives set at the inception of this project weremet as the author was able to identify the causes of child poverty inLondon Borough of Tower Hamlets, identify health impacts of childpoverty in London Borough of Tower Hamlets, review existing servicesavailable to help reduce child poverty in London, and reviewgovernment policies to prevent child poverty in London. Specifically,the following findings were arrived at:

  1. The causes of child poverty in London Borough of Tower Hamlets are attributed to its long history of wars as earlier set forth by Floud &amp Wachter (1982: 130). In addition, recent developments such as economic instability, job scarcity and unprepared pregnancy had also been linked to the roots of poverty in the community.

  2. Child poverty in London Borough of Tower Hamlets, as in any other cases of poverty in other parts of the world had been identified with poor sanitation which eventually results to development of certain sanitation-related illnesses.

  3. As of the moment, existing services available to help reduce child poverty in London includes economic and social policies. One of the policy-making bodies, which is the London Office of the Children’s Rights Commission, as cited by Rayner (2003: 57-58) allows children to participate in the crafting of regulations by making their suggestions and ideas welcome. Hence, the general feature of policies in London, as far as the Commission is concerned, is one that serves the needs of children upon consultation with them.

  4. As to the effectiveness of policies in preventing child poverty in London, each policy must be contrasted with the model criteria set by Engster (2012: 130-139) that in oredr to be regarded effective, policies should be family-oriented. In addition, based on the literature cited in the study, the success of policies and regulations that aim to reduce child poverty in London Borough of Tower Hamlets should have social, economic and political impact. In particular, the regulations should also be family-oriented in order to have the said impact to society in general. Hence, as long as policies are family-oriented and are able to have social, economic and political impact, they are effective in addressing the problem of child-poverty in London Borough of Tower Hamlets.


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Target Date

Activity/Actions for Completion

May 12, 2014

Compilation of regulations in London concerning child poverty

May 22, 2014

Listing of the key features of regulations in London concerning child poverty

May 25, 2014

Completion of the survey questionnaire to be used

June 1, 2014

Identification of respondents

June 5, 2014

Interview respondents

August 15, 2014

Collect and gather survey responses

August 30, 2014

Summarize survey responses

September 30, 2014

Prepare a written report on the analysis between the responses and the key features of regulations in London concerning child poverty