The relationship between poverty, child abuse and neglect


Joseph Rowntree Foundation



Project team

Professor Paul Bywaters (University of Huddersfield), Dr. Geraldine Brady (Nottingham Trent University), Dr. Nicole Steils, Dr. William Mason (Sheffield University), Dr. Lisa Bunting, Dr. Gavin Davidson, Dr Claire McCartan & Dr Jennifer Hanratty (Queen’s University Belfast).

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Project objectives

This project is a rapid evidence review of the relationship between poverty and child abuse and neglect. The focus of the review is on two key questions:

  1. To what extent is there evidence that poverty increases the amount of child abuse and neglect, and/or affects the nature of child abuse and neglect. How does this occur, how large are these effects and to whom do they apply?
  2. To what extent is there evidence that child abuse and neglect increases poverty later in life, how large are these effects and to whom do they apply? 

Within each of these two fields, the issues of equality and diversity, cost, effective policies and gaps in evidence will also be addressed.

Research impact

The purpose of the review is to provide an evidence base to support the development of JRF’s Anti-Poverty Strategies, enabling the decision whether and how to address child abuse and neglect within the strategies. The review will also provide a clear picture of the current evidence to enable both Joseph Rowntree Foundation and others to consider whether further work on this issue would be useful and if so what this might consist of.

See the related project 'Deprivation and Inequalities in Children's Services Interventions'

See the related project: 'Identifying and Understanding Inequalities In Child Welfare Intervention Rates'

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University of the year shortlisted
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