Social Justice: transforming lives -

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Social Justice: transforming lives

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by Command of Her Majesty March 2012 Cm 8314


Social Justice: transforming lives

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by Command of Her Majesty March 2012 Cm 8314


© Crown Copyright 2012. You may re-use this information (excluding logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit or e-mail: [email protected] Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned. This publication can be accessed online at: For more information about this publication, contact: Social Justice and Disadvantaged Groups Division Department for Work and Pensions 7th Floor Caxton House Tothill Street London SW1H 9NA E-mail: [email protected] Copies of this publication can be made available in alternative formats if required. This document is also available at ISBN: 9780101831420 Printed in the UK by The Stationery Office Limited on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office ID 2480410 03/12 Printed on paper containing 75% recycled fibre content minimum.

Contents. Introduction The scale of the challenge Measuring multiple disadvantage Why this Government believes that a new approach is necessary A new ethos The importance of finding new solutions The Social Justice Cabinet Committee Related strategies A lifecycle approach

4 5 8 9 10 11 11 12 13

Chapter 1: Supporting families The problem Relationship quality and stability Family formation Family breakdown Changing the narrative What Government is doing The future

14 15 15 16 17 17 18 25

Chapter 2: Keeping young people on track The problem What Government is doing The future

26 27 29 35

Chapter 3: The importance of work The problem Challenging the culture of worklessness The future

36 37 38 46

Chapter 4: Supporting the most disadvantaged adults The problem Building a clearer picture New approaches to tackling multiple disadvantages The future

47 49 50 50 59

Chapter 5: Delivering Social Justice The need for strong local partnerships and leadership Creating the right environment for innovative delivery The role of a new social economy The future

60 61 62 64 68

Social Justice: transforming lives  1

Foreword by the Secretary of State I was recently handed a report by a charity containing images and sculptures created by a number of vulnerable children. One of the scenes was produced by ten young people whose parents were substance abusers, and the caption below the photo read as follows: “The house of children whose parents are addicted to crack-cocaine. Dad has passed out on the mattress in his own vomit, mum is crouched over a table, preparing her fix. What you don’t see is the child hidden in the corner crying.” This is how these children chose to represent their home lives. Sadly, this is not an isolated case. In the UK today there are hundreds of thousands of individuals and families living profoundly troubled lives marked by multiple disadvantages. For example, the Government recently identified a group of 120,000 troubled families whose lives are so chaotic they cost the Government some £9 billion in the last year alone. But this pales in comparison to the human cost, with children who grow up in damaging and unstable environments frequently set on a path to poorer outcomes later in life. For example, we know that an incredible 24 per cent of prisoners state that they were taken into care as a child. These are not new challenges, but they are in need of a new app