In His Beveridge Lecture on 18th March 1999 Tony Blair, Then Prime Minister, Made the Following Statement: “We Need to Break the Cycle of Disadvantage so That Children Born Into Poverty Are Not Condemned to Social

Topics: Poverty, Sociology, Social work Pages: 12 (4164 words) Published: December 11, 2012
In his Beveridge Lecture on 18th March 1999 Tony Blair, then Prime Minister, made the following statement: “We need to break the cycle of disadvantage so that children born into poverty are not condemned to social exclusion and deprivation. That is why it is so important that we invest in our children”. Using this statement as your starting point, analyse and evaluate the progress that has been made in eradicating child poverty since New Labour came to power in 1997.”

The aim of the essay is to analyse and evaluate the progress that has been made since New Labour came to power in 1997. Various academics have shown that the United Kingdom has enforced, since 1997 to 2012, successful eradicating measures against child poverty and child abuse. Smith (2008,p509) Moreover, social policy appears to define the policies which governments have created and the actions they have made to improve the well-being of members of the society especially the young and vulnerable. In relation to social policy, child poverty is a very complex issue as it affects many aspects of children’s lives and their development. Child abuse is another issue that affects the holistic development of a child; therefore this essay will acknowledge that governments seem to be tackling these two critical issues [children’s lives and their development]. The essay will also focus on the legal issues and social service reports on issues that have been raised since 1997. Subsequently these issues of child abuse and poverty will be explored in depth, in order to evaluate whether policies and laws are doing their best to eradicate social exclusion and deprivation in the society. To determine whether the outcome of the laws are effective, a variety of academic materials and resources will be used to support this research. This will include: books, journal articles, parliament reports, Acts of parliament and where possible comments of the social services and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, herein after (UNCRC). UNCRC will be mentioned throughout the essay as this convention is the first most widely ratified human rights treaty in history according to organisation UNICEF(2005).

New Labour’s political philosophy (Third Way approach) and their emphasis on tackling social exclusion. Blair(1999) stated there was need to break the cycle of disadvantage so that children born into poverty are not condemned to social exclusion and deprivation. That is why it is so important that we invest in our children. It is clear to see that Blair (1999) had decided that it was time to tackle the issues of social exclusion and deprivation as this had become a serious problem in the United Kingdom. According to Blair (1999) New Labour were to approach this issue through a social investment approach. One of the New Labour government’s main objectives was to reduce the rates of child poverty to prevent social exclusion . The term social exclusion is used to define when a member of the society is systematically withdrawn from opportunities and rights for example housing and employment according to Adler (1937). The social exclusion Unit (1999) aimed to support those who are at risk of being deprived and excluded from society, particularly focusing on the child as an ‘adult-to-be’ as suggested by Hendrick (2005,p,107). This includes young people who are truanting, excluded from school, teenage pregnancy and homelessness. New Labour’s “Third Way” approach is in favour of growth, enterprise and wealth creation but it is also in favour of greater social justice and it sees the state playing a major role in bringing this about according to the BBC(1999).

The Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition is the current Government of the United Kingdom and was formed after the 2010 general election. Since the conservatives and liberal democrats have joined together there has been a lack of information regarding the place of Every child matters and services for...

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