This lacks both financial and social resources, including

This assignment will explore mainly on the experience ofpoverty, and its relationship with social inequality. It will also look at themajor causes of poverty in the UK whilst using different theoreticalexplanations to elaborate on it. In addition to that, this assignment, willalso attempt to explore on all the roles social work has in addressing povertywith relevant examples. According to Pierson and Thomas (1995), Poverty can be seenas a condition whereby an individual lacks both financial and social resources,including the basic essentials to enjoy the standards of life. It is also acondition in which people are excluded from participating in the society,because they lack the serious social resources that are measured to beacceptable in the society (Pearson and Thomas 1995). But in my ownunderstanding, I believe that poverty is a situation whereby an individual isextremely poor, and cannot financially meet up with their basic needs.

They are different types of poverty, and they include therelative poverty, and absolute poverty. Absolute poverty refers to a serious condition whereby anindividual cannot afford the basic life essentials that is needed to sustainphysical life, such as food, clothing, and shelter. People living in absolutepoverty, experience complete destitution whereby they cannot afford to providecommon food for their families, no sanitation facilities, and they also have noaccess to education and information {Yuill and Gibson 2011). Relative povertyon the other hand, is the lack of resources to obtain some certain minimumstandard of living that is encouraged and acceptable in a particular society. Forinstance, an individual may be living a comfortable life with regular income tolook after the family, but if they do not own a computer in their home justlike everyone else in the society, they will be classified as poor and livingin relative poverty. And it can be argued that poverty is a symptom of socialinequality, because if access to goods and resources are distributed equallyand evenly to everyone, Poverty will be reduced in society. Crossman (2016) defined inequality  as the existence of unequal opportunities inthe society , unequal treatment between people that have come from differentclass, it is a situation whereby good resources are been distributed unevenlyto people especially those who have claimed to be among the working and upperclass category. Access to goods and the rights of individuals are unfairlydistributed, leaving those from the lower class with nothing.

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 The concept of equality of opportunity is avery significant topic in the UK because; the level of unequal opportunities isrelatively high. (GOV.UK)Some statistics have however, showed that approximately32.5% of the UK population have at least experienced poverty compared to therest of the population between 2011 and 2014 (Office of National Statistics,2016) in 2013, The percentage of people in persistent income poverty in the UKwas 7.8%, equivalent to 4.

6 million people. Siddique (2015) argued thatindividuals who have already experiences poverty, are more likely to experiencepoverty again, compared to those who have never been in Poverty. People who aremore at risk of being in poverty, include Lone parents for whom 60% are poor,the unemployed, people who are disabled, and young teenagers who left school atthe age of 16 (Pearson and Thomas 1995). Been poor and living on low income isa major source of stress, it has strong association with Metal health problem,family problems, ill health or even child abuse. Nevertheless, these arepotential reasons why Social Workers need to ensure that these individuals aresupported on how to improve their lives and standards of living.  Social workers’ working with differentagencies ensures that everyone has equal opportunities, and also becomeproductive members of the society.  Resources such as income, wealth, education, health and housingare distributed unevenly among different groups, making it a global phenomenon,where people are treated differently due to their social classification.

Peoplewho are from the minority and low class groups tend to suffer more in Poverty,compared to those from the higher class.  According to the statistics carried out byGov.uk, people   from ethnic minority backgrounds frequentlyexperience poorer health and have lower life expectancy compared to the rest ofthe population. For instance, within the UK, people from ethnic minorities are on average, more likely to live inlow-income families than White people.  Almost half of all children fromethnic minorities live in low-income households compared to a quarter of WhiteBritish children (Poverty site, 2016).

The UK has a culturally diverse population with ethnic minorities,accounting for almost 8% of the population in the 2001 census which representedan increase in the percentage of ethic members in the society by approximately50%. Nonetheless, the largest ethnic minority group are Indians followed byPakistanis, mixed ethnic backgrounds; black Caribbean’s, black Africans andBangladesh. And the level of illness and health varies a lot among these groups(Platt, 2007).

 According to the Englandsurvey (2014), Black and minority ethnic groups as a whole are more likely toreport ill health, which starts at a very young age; they are also more likelyto be diagnosed with mental health issues, compared to others. The healthsurveys of England provide some detailed evidence of ethnic variation inhealth. This is due to in part to the large numbers of patients involved butalso because they also take biomedical samples for analysis. According to thissurvey all South Asian groups showed higher rates for most conditions comparedto the general population.

Chinese men and women had lower prevalence foralmost all conditions except diabetes. And Compared to the white ethnic group,people of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Caribbean origin were more likely toreport poor health. (Platt, 2007)The unemploymentrate between these ethnic groups are very drastic, for instance, the employmentrate among white people was 4.9% from April 2015 and March 2015, while theunemployment rate among people from ethnic backgrounds was higher with 10.2%.

AllMinority ethnic groups in the UK are likely not to be in employment than whitesespecially those under the age of 25 (Inman 2014) below is a chat, showing therate of unemployment between different ethnic groups. According to the chat above, people, we can clearly see thatpeople from the minority group are mostly  unemployed, compared to the white group, andfor this reason they tend to live in poverty, which is as a result of living onvery low income. Some of these individuals have the necessary skills to go intoemployment, but the opportunity to show and share their knowledge and abilityis limited.  (Yuill and Gibson 2011)Below is another chat estimating the proportion of peopleliving in low income households, with different ethnic groups. The bar chat shows that, over 70% of Bangladesh are livingin low income, 65% form Pakistan, 55% from Black African, 40% from BlackCaribbean, 33% for Indian and below 30% of white. (Poverty site 2016).

However,a high poverty rate of a particular group. Ethnic differences in the health andwellbeing of an individual vary in the age group and also between men andWomen, as well as between geographical areas. For instance Men that are born inSouth Asia are mostly 50% more likely to have a heart attack compared to men inthe broad-spectrum population. In addition, men born in the Caribbean are 50%more likely to die of stroke compared to the general Caribbean population.

Another group of individuals that is likely to be in povertyare the people with disability. They are vulnerable adults and children, withdifferent additional needs and support in the society, and large institutions. Theseindividuals are likely to be on low minimum wage, difficulties in accessingpublic transport, and also very likely to be without paid employed that couldat least help them to have the normal standard of living.  For this reason, they are mostly at risk ofliving in poverty compared to people without disability (Holman 1978)Individuals with disability, face extra cost every day,compared to the rest of the people who do not require additional support intheir daily lives.

This is because; they need to manage their impairmentsfinancially. For instance, paying for their social services, reconstructingtheir homes for adaption; they need to buy wheelchairs, mobility communicationaids, and other necessary equipment.Statistics have showed that families with at least onedisabled member are 21% more likely to live in poverty compared to thosewithout disabilities in 2009 (GOV.UK 2014). In 2012, it was mentioned that only 46.3% of working age disabled peopleare in employment, while the rest of the working age, non-disabled people inemployment was 76.

4%. Subsequently this has reduced by 10% over the years,because a lot of disabled individuals are now in employment compared to theprevious years (GOV.UK, 2014). Furthermore, social inequalities in our society cannot beover emphasised, because it affected the whole population as a whole in one wayor the other, with many controversies about the unfairness of the society.

Mostmembers of the higher social class are living healthier, and longer, comparedto those who fall under the lower social group, people from lower social groupare most likely to get inadequate diets, poor quality of housing, and othermaterial disadvantages which could affect their health and wellbeing (Dowling,1999).  According to the black report,the middle class and upper class people have better standards of living, andquality of life, than the lower class people. However, people from the lowerclass suffer from more illness than those in the higher class, because they areunemployed with no possible income, which in other words is been classified asliving in abstract poverty. (Dowling 1999) Theoreticalexplanations of poverty. Different theories have been used to elaborate on the issueof poverty in our society, for instance, the Functionalist perspective whichwas introduced by Emile Durkheim, affirms that every part of the society hasits function, and for this reason, they all have to work differently to ensurestability and the effectiveness of the society as a while. Functionalistdescribed this, by linking it with the human body which has different parts tofunction well, and without the various contributions it will not functioneffectively. So therefore they believed that Poverty is present in our societyfor a reason, and without poverty the society will not function well.

I quiteagree with this theory because I believe that things happen for a reason,including poverty. For instance it encourages people to work harder, in otherto achieve some certain gaols and living minimum standard of life that is knownto be acceptable in the society. This theory also, implies that the likelihoodof living in poverty depends on the structure of the families.

For instancelooking at Single parents in our society, their children are likely to live inpoverty if preventive measures are not put in place. Since 2013, 46% ofchildren from single-parent households live in relative poverty, with 41% ofsingle-parent families earning less than 60% of the UK average (Welfare weekly2016). However,  Functionalist have failedto access poverty holistically, in the sense that not all single families areliving in poverty, some married couples are also raising their kids in poverty.Marxist theory on the other hand, argued that the main cause of poverty is theuneven distribution of wealth and income in society; they believed that asociety that encourages inequality is likely to have poverty. Marxist theory isbased on around capitalism where people who are classified to be poor remain inthe same position, because, it favours individuals who are known to be form theupper class, while the functionalist theory is certain that poverty can beeradicated if an individual works hard. Marxism argues that Poverty isinevitable under capitalism (Peet 1974) Essentially, I do not agree with thistheory, because for it to become a fairer society, the poor would not want toremain poor, according to Functionalist perspective, people from the lowerclass will ensure they work hard so as to avoid being the workforce thataccepts low wages. In addition, Marxist, have concluded that until the societyis balanced, Poverty will always be in existence, the rich will be richer, whilethe poor will remain poor.

However, if inequality is evicted in the society,everyone will be treated equally, and poverty will be evicted.Poverty is not only caused by individual circumstance orlack of capacity, as assumed by the general public (Barker 2016) it can also betriggered by work and income. This is because a lot of people who has thecapacity and skills to work, do not have the opportunity to contribute to thesociety, and by not been employed they live on very low income wage, thereforefinding it difficult to financially provide for their families.  Another significant effect of being on lowincome, is the inability to afford good housing, and living in Poor housing cannegatively affect the health  andwellbeing of an individual (World health organisation 2010).To reduce poverty, somany polices which have been very effective have been put in place to helpimprove society. These policies are actions that affect the wellbeing ofindividuals, they respond to basic human needs which include housing,healthcare, and employment. Using different means they generate the mosteffective ways to ensure they respond to all the needs.

These welfare policies,mostly focuses on the programmes and policies which only provides incomeassistance and social services to the people in need, it reduces the rate ofinequality and poverty,  therefore givingout a better living standard to individuals on low incomes, and contribute to amore cohesive society (Pierson and Thomas 1995). For instance to reducepoverty, additional employment assistance has been put in place specificallyfor those who are unemployed, they ensure that every individual who fall underthe working age, and has the capacity to work, gets the opportunity to be inemployment. The Child poverty strategy has also been set out by the Governmentin April 2011, and the major aim is to tackle poverty, minimise socio-economicadvantage, guaranteeing fairness and also proving support to vulnerableindividuals (GOV.UK 2015).   In addition, a better targeted benefits was introduced tohelp tackle poverty in our society, the new scheme was aimed at the disabledindividuals, lone parents and also jobseekers. The programme has appeared to bevery successful in the reduction of poverty form 1999-2008 over 1.

8 millionjobs, where 500,000 of these were lone parents and disabled individuals thatare in employment, and earning at least a minimum wage, including an additionalTax credit which will be added to their income. This will however, help them tohave the normal standard of living that is known to be acceptable in thesociety (Politics and Welfare 2012). The major critique of these benefits isthat, some people who are already in low paid employment might have anincentive to stop working so as to get free benefits from the Government.  But to stabilize this, the Government have ensuredthat every individual eligible for Benefits, must provide a document to show,that they are actively seeking for employment. Another significant policy that was added to the provisionof employment was the National minimum wage, which was introduced in April1999. These wages are hourly rates that are paid to working age individualsalready in employment, they are been renewed yearly by the Low Pay Commission,which have significantly helped in reducing Poverty (Norgrove 2012).

  Social workers in general also play a very significant rolein Poverty, as they work with different individuals from, different walks oflife, especially those who have been socially deprived in the society. SocialWorkers are always positive, when it comes to issues that are affecting thehealth and wellbeing of an individual. Despite the inequality that exists,Social workers still have the responsibility to individualise care for theirsocially deprived clients (Holman 1978), they inform clients of their entitlementsto certain welfare benefits, which are available and applicable to them. Socialservices are frequently aware of agencies, information and polices that canmeet to the needs of their clients. Additionally, when working with clients that are sociallydeprived, Social workers could discuss the causes of their condition with goodand effective communication skills, so as to clarify the issue with the personthey are supporting, to understand their situation and also to change theirbehaviours.

Most importantly, clients should not be denied the full support,they deserve, and their needs should be assessed holistically, so as to modifytheir financial condition. Lastly, in poverty, Social Workers have the role ofensuring that resources andopportunities along with individual capacities develop, because they are allnecessary for effective poverty eradication.In conclusion, this essay have discussed the experience ofpoverty in general, and also looked at the major causes of poverty, usingdifferent theories to explain them, and most especially linked it relationshipwith Social Work.

Nonetheless I believe that the level of social inequalitiesin the society has not been beneficial in any way because, the rich are gettingricher while the poor are getting poorer, and these have however, made thesociety not to develop as it should. Government intervention on additionalbenefits, improved affordability of community services and increase in minimumwage, are further means of ensuring that Poverty is eradicated (Holman, 1978).