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Is a work strategy for reducing child poverty amongst disabled children effective or a shot misfired? An empirical exploration of child poverty, childhood disability and the work-care nexus in Flanders.

Policy strategies to reduce child poverty are nowadays inspired by social investment and generally focused on parental employment. There is substantial overlap between childhood disability and child poverty, but for families with disabled children such employment strategy might be problematic. The risk of being poor for (families of) disabled children is associated with the fact that a) participation in the labour market is difficult for parents as they need to provide care for their children; b) families with disabled children generally have a lower socioeconomic status; and c) they face more medical and other expenses. The main objective of the research proposal is 1) to investigate the interrelationships between these factors; 2) to identify the impact of the current social policy package in Flanders on labour market participation and poverty; and 3) to examine how the prevailing policy paradigm should be recalibrated to achieve better results in terms of child poverty reduction. The research will clarify unresolved questions regarding the role of the work-care balance in families with disabled children in explaining child poverty. The results will allow us a) to formulate new hypotheses on how families with disabled children from different social backgrounds and with different care needs cope with the challenge of care and work; b) to inform policy makers on how to improve existing policy measures; and c) to add to the literature on child poverty and the work-care nexus.
Date:1 Oct 2017  →  30 Sep 2019
Disciplines:Social work, Other sociology and anthropology