New Government report uses cohort data to outline vision for social justice

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Findings from Understanding Society and the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) have informed a new report that outlines the Government’s vision to support the most disadvantaged families and individuals in the UK.

Social Justice: Transforming Lives – One Year On identifies family stability and education as critical for overcoming disadvantage and poverty in society and highlights progress that has been made towards the Government’s Social Justice strategy, launched in March 2012.

The Department for Work and Pensions report makes use of data from Understanding Society that shows between 11 and 28 per cent of children live in families where married and co-habiting parents report some level of unhappiness with their parental relationship. Findings also show that children aged 11-16 in low income households are almost twice as likely not to be living with both birth parents as children in better-off households.

The report acknowledges the importance of good quality and sustained parental relationships for giving children the best start in life, and says that understanding the effects of family breakdown has led to interventions such as advice services, counselling for couples, parenting classes and increased childcare support.

It also draws on findings from LSYPE that show how disadvantaged children are most likely to fall out of the education system, and highlights progress made to break the link leading from truancy and school exclusion to criminal activity or gang involvement.

This has included providing extra support for disadvantaged children in school, ensuring schools arrange appropriate provision for pupils who are excluded, recruiting Gang Advisors to work with young people at risk of falling into gangs, and promoting rehabilitation through the youth justice system.

In addition to family stability and education, the report identifies worklessness and drug and alcohol addiction as priority areas for interventions to support disadvantaged people to turn their lives around.

LSYPE provides data on over 15,500 young people born in 1989-1990 from the age of 14 to young adulthood. Understanding Society is the world’s largest longitudinal social science study and follows people living in 40,000 households in the UK.

Read the full report:

Social Justice: Transforming Lives – One Year On was published by the Department for Work and Pensions in April 2013.