Identify the factors that impact on outcomes and life chances for children and young people
Social factors Lack of social/friendship networks.
Children need friendships to develop their interaction, emotional understanding, empathy and social skills. Children who lack these networks tend to feel isolated and therefore isolate themselves more. They may suffer insecurities about themselves and be withdrawn and shy. They may struggle to communicate, share and understand the needs and feelings of others. As they grow older the insecurities may lead to self hated and self harm. They will lack people to confide in or go to for advice. They may find themselves drawn into ‘the wrong crowd’ because they seem welcoming, and as a result find themselves manipulated.
If the child suffers from illness or disability they may find they frequently miss school, they may then miss large chunks of their education and struggle to achieve. It may cause them to miss out on activities such as sports, which could leave them feeling isolated. These feelings could develop into anger or resentment and may cause them to have behavioral problems. They may be misjudged as lacking intelligence and therefore not given challenges, leading to boredom and perceived disruptive behavior.
If the child is the carer of a parent suffering illness or disability this can lead to emotional difficulties. The child may struggle to understand the role reversal they are experiencing, viewing themselves as being on a par with adults and more mature than their peers, resulting in them struggling to form friendships. They may become resentful at missing out on their childhood and present challenging behavior. They may suffer anxiety whilst away from home and worry about their parent, resulting in a failure to engage in their education. They may not fulfill their potential in life as much of it will be dedicated to being a carer. Having a parent with a long term illness or disability could also lead to financial hardship due to lack of employment.
Criminal or anti –social behavior
Whether it is behavior presented by the child, a sibling or parent it could result in the child being taken into care. A parent could be absent for a length of time, if imprisoned, causing emotional stress. The child may perceive the behavior as normal or acceptable, especially if it is being carried out by the parents and copy it. It may result in a transient lifestyle, as they could be re-housed as a result of anti-social behavior. This would result in the child suffering a disrupted education and struggling to form long term stable friendships.
Economic and Environmental factors
This can result from low income, unemployment, parental separation, illness or disability, addictions, or criminal activities. Children may suffer malnutrition or a poor diet as a result of their parents being unable to afford quality food. This could result in lack of concentration or poor performance at school. They could also suffer other health related issues. They may be the subject of bullying as a result of their clothing or because they do not have the latest ‘must have’ accessories. They will probably miss out on further education due to the costs involved, or as a result of the need to find employment to help support the family.
One of the side effects of poverty is poor housing. People on low income are often dependent on local authority housing. This may result in overcrowding, for example being housed in a bedsit or home with insufficient bedrooms. This means the child has no privacy, or personal space. They may struggle with homework and course work because of the lack of a quiet space in which to complete it. The housing provided may be of a poor quality – suffering damp or be in disrepair. This could have a detrimental effect on the child’s health – causing asthma or frequent colds and coughs. It will probably be in a less...
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