Preventing destitution: policy and practice in the UK

Karen Barker, Carla Ayrton, Issy Petrie, Adam Tinson

Last year more than 1.5 million people in the UK were pushed into destitution, going without the bare essentials and locked out of the chance of building a decent and secure life. This research examines how the policies and practice of public and third-sector bodies affect these people.

The research is based on interviews with frontline professionals in six areas across England, Wales and Scotland. It identifies factors pushing people into destitution and analyses current responses to destitution, suggesting two key solutions:

  • Strengthen local responses and reform local practice.
  • Reform DWP and local authority procedures to weaken the chronic and acute drivers of destitution.


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