What is life like for families who are stuck in problem debt? Why do they fall into a spiral of debt in the first place, and why is it so hard to escape?
The first hand stories in this book offer a unique understanding of life for families and children fighting a daily battle against poverty and debt. They give voice to some of the most underrepresented people in society, who are too often portrayed cruelly in the media and elsewhere.
Drawing on research data collected through The Children’s Society’s Debt Trap campaign, this book explores the causes, implications and impacts of problem debt, challenges pejorative public attitudes and encourages more compassionate policy making to help families escape poverty and debt.
Sorcha Mahony is a senior researcher at The Children’s Society and leads a unique research programme on the experiences of young people growing up in poverty.
Larissa Pople is a senior researcher at The Children’s Society where she leads the charity’s groundbreaking children’s wellbeing research programme.
The Children’s Society is a national charity that works with the most vulnerable children and young people in Britain today. We listen. We support. We act. Because no child should feel alone. www.childrenssociety.org.uk
Preface: The origins of the book
Introduction and methodological note
Luxuries and necessities
The elephant in the room/consumerism
Keeping up appearances
The tyranny of the small things
The downside of help
The debt premium
“A powerful and compelling account of family life in the context of problem debt. Required reading for people studying, working with, and most importantly making policies affecting low-income families.“ Gill Main, University of Leeds
“This beautifully written, perceptive and reflexive study of debt is a testament to the power of stories, grounded in wider research and policy contexts. Please read it.” Professor the Baroness Ruth Lister of Burtersett