The five Pathways to Poverty

The CSJ has identified five Pathways to Poverty - family breakdown, educational failure, worklessness and dependency, addiction and serious personal debt. All of these pathways are inter connected and many of those trapped in poverty have experienced more than one of these problems.

Family Breakdown

Family breakdown – whether divorce and separation, dysfunction or ‘dad-lessness’ – is occurring at a greater rate today than ever before. Click here to find out how we can strengthen families and reverse family breakdown.

Educational Failure

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.

Economic Dependency and Worklessness

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.


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.

Serious Personal Debt

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’.