Britain: Children born to black mothers are more likely to be expelled from school, suffer alcoholism and get in trouble with the police
An extensive inquiry into "families at risk", by the Social Exclusion Task Force, says government agencies have failed to help the 140,000 most "at risk" families in the UK, whose lives are blighted by a dangerous combination of poverty, poor housing, drug abuse and criminality.
Children with the worst prospects in the UK have many characteristics in common, it concludes, including coming from single-parent households, living on council estates and in homes where the mother's first language is not English. The risk of problems is exacerbated if the mother's ethnicity is black, or, to a lesser degree, if she is Asian, according to the paper, Reaching Out: Think Family.
The report, to be announced by Hilary Armstrong, minister for social exclusion, will propose targeting whole families - rather than just children - because "the root causes of children's disadvantage... often lies in the difficulties of their parents".
"Some families with multiple problems can create significant harm to themselves and the communities in which they live," the report says. " They may externalise their problems through criminal or antisocial behaviour which can have an impact on whole communities."
It said the risk of a child experiencing severe disadvantages is triggered by eight key factors, the top of which is living in council accommodation, and the second the lack of English at home. Third is being born to a single mother and fourth is if the "mother's ethnicity is black".
Children born to families with several such characteristics were far more likely to find problems at school, in socialising and in their prospects in later life.
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