The five pathways to poverty:
tackling the root causes and breaking the cycle of poverty

The CSJ is best known for its major Breakthrough Britain reports which identified the five Pathways to Poverty – family breakdown, educational failure, worklessness and dependency, addiction and serious personal debt as pathways to entrenched poverty. All of these pathways are inter connected and many of those trapped in poverty have experienced more than one of these problems. Through our work in each of these areas the CSJ seeks to move the poverty debate away from a simple fixation with a single ‘poverty line’ and instead look carefully at the lives of those living in poverty and what can be done to change those lives and eradicate poverty for good.

Family Breakdown – Fractured Families and Fully Committed reports

Family breakdown whether divorce and separation, dysfunction or ‘dad-lessness’ – remains a major factor in the day to day lives of those living poverty and has a profound impact on the life chances of the children it effects.

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Educational Failure – Closing the Divide and Required Improvement

Too many young people leave school without the skills and qualifications to secure a sustainable job and lead a fulfilling life. This ‘failure to launch’ has corrosive effects on their fortunes and the social fabric and economic prospects of our country.

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Worklessness – Signed on, Written off and The Journey to Work

Work is the most effective route out of poverty. Yet our often counter-productive welfare system has trapped people in poverty by failing to reward work or support those seeking to enter the workforce.

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Addiction – No Quick Fix and Ambitious for Recovery

Britain has experienced an explosion in addiction rates, with millions of the adult population having an alcohol use disorder. There are also huge number of addicts who have been parked on methadone with little opportunity to achieve a drug free life.

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Serious Personal Debt – Restoring the Balance, Maxed Out and Future Finance

Increasing numbers of people are having debt problems, the many indicators which provide evidence on the scale of the problem and the contrast of UK indebtedness with that of Europe, all confirm the conclusion that ‘personal debt is the most serious social problem facing the UK today’.

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