Child and family poverty and well-being

This stream of work is led by Professor Jonathan Bradshaw, founding director of SPRU in the mid-1970’s. Jonathan has been a leading social policy scholar for over 40 years and has an international reputation for his work on child well-being, child poverty, comparative social policy, and living standards. He has contributed to numerous landmark studies of poverty and minimum income standards in Britain for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and issued a wake up call to policy makers worldwide by producing the first international 'league table' of child well-being. He has written on a range of important social policy issues and to celebrate his work and mark his retirement the University of York produced a volume which brings together some of his best writings and demonstrates his clear, humane thinking based on systematic evidence and analysis. The book, 'Jonathan Bradshaw on Social Policy: Selected Writings 1972-2011', will be of interest to social policy students, practitioners and policy makers and is required reading for anyone who wants to understand how and why poverty and low child well-being persist in the 21st century. The book was sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Social Policy Research Unit and the Foundation for International Studies on Social Security. Jonathan retired in 2011 but still undertakes research and writing in his fields of interest including child well-being, child poverty, comparative social policy, and living standards.

Current funded projects

Child well-being

Jonathan is a Principal Investigator on the Children’s Worlds Project funded by the Jacobs Foundation. This is an international comparative survey of child well-being. Phases 1 and 2 included school based surveys of children in England which built on the Good Childhood surveys (see publications) undertaken by us in collaboration with The Children’s Society. Phase 3 begins in March 2016 and will involve another international survey in 2017.

European Social Policy Network

Jonathan is UK coordinator of this network and leads a team (Fran Bennett (University of Oxford), Professor Alan Maynard (University of York) and Professor Caroline Glendenning (University of York)) who write reports on topics selected by the European Commission in the fields of social protection, pensions, health, long-term care and housing policy. These include a UK Country Profile updated four times per year for internal use by Commission staff and at least three ad hoc reports each year on topics identified by the Commission. Most of the latter are published on the ESPN website (see publications for details).

Read more about the European Social Policy Network

Other current research activities

UNICEF consultant on the Innocenti Report Card series and Hon Fellow of UNICEF UK. Writing reports and analytic work.

Chair of the Social Policy Committee of the Child Poverty Action Group. Occasional blogs and analytic work.

Recent funded research

Child well-being

2005-2007  An index of child well-being at local level for England (DCLG)

2006-2008  Index of child well-being in CEE/CIS countries (UNICEF)

2008-  Subjective well-being of children in England (Children’s Society)

2005-  Consultant/advisor on the Innocenti Report Card series (UNICEF)

2013-  Children’s Worlds. An International Report on Child Well-Being (Jacobs Foundation)

2015-2016  Consultant on the measurement of child well-being in Albania (UNICEF)

2016-2018 Children's worlds (Jacobs Foundation)

Child poverty

2007-2008  Social exclusion of young people aged 16-24 (Cabinet Office)

2009-2010  The measurement of extreme poverty (EU)

2012-2013  Consultant to UNICEF Namibia on Child benefits (UNICEF)

2010-2014  Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK 2012 (ESRC)

Comparative social policies

2006-2007  Child support in comparative perspective (DWP)

2007-2012  Consultant to the Regional Office for CEE/CIS countries (UNICEF)

2014-  UK expert on the European Social Policy Network (EU)

2015  Consultant on Child Benefits in the CEE (ILO)

Living standards

2006-2008  Minimum Income Standards for the UK (JRF)

2013-2016  Living Wage Project (ESRC)