Tackling child poverty priority families overview

An overview of evidence on the six priority family types identified as being at higher risk of child poverty. Slide deck can be found in the supporting documents.

Families with a disabled person

Key demographics

A third of all families in Scotland. Around a fifth (18%) of parents are disabled.

Disabled people are more likely than non-disabled people to experience domestic abuse (particularly women).

Of children in this group in relative poverty, 37% are also in lone parent households, and 32% in homes with three or more children.

Often other family members take on a caring role, but children in families with an unpaid carer are not at higher risk of poverty.

Income from employment

Disabled parents are generally less likely to be in paid work, and if in paid work, more likely to be underemployed.

Additional barriers accessing employment (including transport, application processes, discrimination).

More likely to have low or no qualifications.

Overrepresented in sectors most affected by lockdowns, who were stopped from working during the pandemic.

Costs of living

Disabled families face higher living costs than non-disabled. Impacts of the current cost of living crisis particularly acute.

Families with long-term conditions find it harder to afford childcare.

For those with disabled children, specific barriers around finding the right childcare to support children’s needs.

Less likely to have savings (among families with long term conditions).

More likely to report a negative impact on their mental health as a result of the cost of living crisis.

Income from social security

Disabled people experience a range of difficulties with benefits currently delivered by the UK social security system, including a lack of advice and support, lack of trust in the system, and a complex, inflexible or unsuitable application process.

Disproportionately impacted by cuts, freezes and or changes to eligibility criteria, partly because of a higher reliance on benefits.

What works

Improving transport accessibility and information.

Offering home visits for services where possible.

Dedicated and personalised employment support.

Flexible accommodating workplaces.

Offsetting additional living costs through social security.


Email: social-justice-analysis@gov.scot
Twitter: @EqualityPoverty
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