More than one in four youngsters in the UK are growing up in families facing multiple challenges such as parental depression and financial hardship, according to new research.
Ah, I guess this is the new, politically correct term for ‘dysfunctional’ or ‘problem’ families.
It’s a nice, cosy term, isn’t it? It implies that these ‘challenges’ are totally outside the family themselves, and outside their control. Just acts of god, really.
So, what sort of ‘challenges’ are we talking about?
The 10 risk factors considered were living in overcrowded housing; having a teenage mother; having one or more parents with depression, or a physical disability, or low basic skills; substance misuse; excessive alcohol intake; living in a family experiencing financial stress, or worklessness or domestic violence.
Oh. I see.
The study’s authors also discovered that Bangladeshi children were most likely to be exposed to multiple family difficulties. Almost half of them (48%) experienced two or more risk factors – financial hardship was often one of them – compared to only 20% of Indian children.
Oh. I see again.
And the purpose of this survey? Well, of course, it’s to highlight what an ‘opportunity’ this is for government intervention:
The paper’s authors, Dr Ricardo Sabates, of the University of Sussex, and Professor Shirley Dex, of the Institute of Education, said the great diversity of risk-factor combinations complicated matters for policy-makers.
The Institute of Education, eh? Sounds a lot like the ‘Daily Mash’ invention, the ‘Institute for Studies’, doesn’t it?
Sadly, it’s real.