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Most British do not know poor people, have never talked with them over lunch, or shared their ideas about children, politics, or their communities. This is partly a result of the growing insulation of middle- class British communities from the pockets of poverty that are becoming more pronounced throughout the United Kingdom. The likelihood that people from different classes and races will mix in churches or parks is diminishing each year, because poor people shop in different stores, travel on different streets, and eat in different restaurants, and their children attend different -- usually substandard -- schools. Much about the welfare state has been analyzed and reported on, but there has been no systematic effort to look in historical context at the evolution of its family policy or to explicate paths taken in some countries but not in others. More recently, there have been multi-country overviews of particular programs--child care or family allowances, for example--or more comprehensive comparisons of a few countries, but the larger task remains. If the welfare state represents a modification or correction of market outcomes in the interest of certain other values, and if one set of such values relates to a concept of child and family well-being as a prerequisite for individual development and well-being, in which domains do the modifications appear? How and where do they develop, and what is their current direction as welfare states face economic globalization and political changes?
The term' family policy' includes laws, regulations, benefits, and programs (sometimes) deliberately and explicitly designed to achieve specific objectives with or for individuals in their family roles or for the family unit as a whole. We follow here the common practice of using the term 'family policy' to refer to families with children: policy with regard to 'the elderly', 'senior citizens', or 'the aged' is a separate domain. As we shall see, family policy may be implicit or explicit, intended or inadvertent, a consequence of actions with other goals or an indirect way of achieving child- and family-related goals without necessarily articulating their value base. Family policy usually refers to government actions, but may occasion- ally refer to the workplace, the church, political parties, or other associations. Since most family policy is enacted by government or private-sector employers, the others usually develop family policies as instruments of advocacy. But the fact of change does not tell one what to do. Family policies therefore provide the other anchor: what is or is not done, how, for whom, with what financing, with what programmatic choices, and so on. Here, the focus is on the content of the actions. Further consideration also suggests that family policies may be among the forces creating family change. Thus an exploration must consider both family changes and family policies as potentially dependent or independent variables. Nor need we assume that the causal dynamics are necessarily limited to what occurs within a country. Countries that interact culturally or compete economically learn from one another--or at least some of their policy-makers or advocates do. And in recent years, within the European Community and European Union (as earlier in the institutions of 'communist' Europe), specific supra- or multi-national directives or recommendations have encouraged a degree of convergence (Castles, 1993).
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The economic situation of families with children is largely contingent on five factors: the rate of employment; the level of wages; the number of earners in the family; and the size and the composition of the family, i.e., the number of children and whether the family is headed by one or two parents. Government income transfers can offset some of the consequences of the other four factors, but in the US such transfers have been modest. Except during the 1930s, the gross domestic product (GDP) rose steadily from the beginning of the twentieth century. Per capita real GDP increased by about two-thirds between World War II and 1974 but only by about one-fourth between1974 and 1992. Families' standard of living improved steadily between World War II and 1974 but later stagnated, with different consequences for different types of families. The mid-1970s may be thought of as the post-World War II watershed in the economic situation of families. The slowdown in economic growth following the first world-wide oil shortage had significant consequences for family economic well-being (Ditch, 1995). Family income inequality increased during the latter period, with shares in family income rising only for the highest quintile, declining for the three lowest, and remaining stable for the fourth. The economic situation of the poor also worsened during these years. Despite periodic rises in unemployment, the percentage of the adult population in the labor force increased steadily during both periods, as discussed in the last chapter. The average number of earners per family decreased slightly overall (from 1.39 in 1973 to 1.28 in 1991), (Bradshaw, 1995) but varied significantly by family type. Husband/wife families experienced a jump in the number of earners per family; this rise was offset by the dramatic increase in the proportion of families headed by single women, and therefore with no earners or only a sole earner. Real wages rose dramatically from the end of World War II to 1975, and then stagnated. Median family income in constant dollars doubled between 1947 (the first year the Census Bureau began to report family income on a regular basis) and 1970, then increased only by about 10% between 1970 and1991 (Fardley, 1995).
This increase was sustained largely by the growing contribution of working wives to their families' economies. White families did better than blacks and Hispanics, in part because they were more likely to be two-parent families and in part because of wage and employment discrimination. In this regard, it cannot be denied that many British are doing their best in order to alleviate the standard rate of living among the citizen of the country to help not just every family but especially the children. This is because of the fact that the children are the primary people and being suffering from the poverty that the adults failed to solve and prevent in the first place. Responsiveness to family change requires more than attention to income, workplace
adaptations, and family law. It also requires a wider range of supports for improved quality of life (health care, child care, and housing) and special help for families and children with special needs (Supplemental Security Income, child welfare, and nutrition). The programs grouped in make little claim for coherence, but they do constitute a significant and distinctive component of family policy (Baker, 1995).
For this plan, the approach has been on the educated and academic level since the issue is a very critical one. The research included statistical data of the rate of poverty among the children and the family. It must be noted that children are only suffering from poverty because of the fact that the adult failed to protect them. Showing some statistics on the issue will awaken the people and the society of the need to eradicate poverty among the citizens of the country. The tone to be used is a professional one. This report must not sound like hosting a talk show or a video blog. But rather, it will give a professional touch that will sound more like a documentary reporting. Using this approach, it cannot be denied that it could minister to the young ones and to the adults as well.