Listening to children: gaining a perspective of the experiences of poverty and social exclusion from children and young people of single-parent families

Crawford, Karin and Walker, Janet and Taylor, Frances (2008) Listening to children: gaining a perspective of the experiences of poverty and social exclusion from children and young people of single-parent families. Health and Social Care in the Community, 16 (4). pp. 429-436. ISSN UNSPECIFIED

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2524.2008.00781.x

Abstract

This paper reports on the experiences and views of children and young
people of single-parent families, as findings from a European Union-funded
research project undertaken in England, Greece and Cyprus. The objectives
of the research project were to investigate how children and young people
of single-parent families understand and experience their worlds as
members of these families: whether and to what extent they experience
poverty and social exclusion and how they cope with the challenges that this
confronts them with. Methodology was replicated in each of the countries;
however, this paper draws on the English experiences.
Semistructured interviews (40) and focus groups (four) were undertaken
with children of single parents. In addition, focus groups were undertaken
with children of two-parent families (four), focus groups with single parents,
focus groups with two-parent families (four) and individual interviews with
key professionals. Detailed discussion guides were followed, with
open-ended questions to allow participants to express their feelings and
ideas in their own words. The research sample included children from
single-parent and two-parent families, aged 6 years to 16 years, balanced in
terms of age, gender and geographical location.
Findings demonstrate the children’s and young people’s understanding
of the impact of poverty and social exclusion on their family life and their
everyday experiences. The positive benefits of being in a single-parent
family are highlighted, with ‘time poverty’ raised as a significant issue.
Children and young people are aware of their poverty and how it influences
exclusion from friendships, play, leisure and community activities. Policy
needs to take account of the systematic reality of children’s experiences;
alliances with adults that support meaningful involvement and
participation by children and young people will make a significant
contribution to this.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:children and young people of single-parent families, exclusion, participation, policy recommendations, poverty
Subjects:L Social studies > L410 UK Social Policy
L Social studies > L510 Health & Welfare
L Social studies > L520 Child Care
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:3126
Deposited By: Karin Crawford
Deposited On:30 Jul 2010 12:22
Last Modified:13 Oct 2014 09:59

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