Welfare additional income as they need toWelfare additional income as they need to

reform is the ‘collective
name for changes to the benefit (social security) system’ (Anon, 2016). This benefits system is paid by the
Government to help various social groups to have a fair amount of income so
that they can attend to their own personal needs, or if necessary an additional
income will be added to those who also need to tend to the needs of others. It
is used as a way of support to help those who are less fortunate or
disadvantaged, in the sense that they struggle financially or physically to
make ends meet and therefore require some form of income to reduce this issue. This
is evident in low-income families, for example, they may get Income support and
Housing Benefits – two types of Welfare Reforms which are given to families
with low income. Income support is used to help families who have low income
and therefore need additional income to help them pay for essentials, whereas
Housing Benefits is solely used to help low-income families pay their rent. There
are other types of benefits low-income families can receive, they may also get
additional income as they need to tend to themselves as well as the needs of
their child/ren, this is called Child tax credit.

light of this, when changes are made to Welfare reforms by Government then this
act also affects the well-being of the low-income families who are dependent on
it as this could potentially be their main source of income. The quality of
life of their lived experiences could in affect deteriorate in some respects,
and other factors such as social exclusion and isolation can result from this. The benefit cap which was set up by
the Government in 2013 to set a ‘limit on the total amount
in benefits that most working-age people can claim’ (Foster, 2016) is
highlighted by The Guardian to affect low income families the most; with ‘116,000 households with between one and four children’
(Foster, 2016). It reduces Housing benefits and therefore the reality of the
low-income families lived experiences will continue to or begin to struggle to
pay their rent due to as stated previously, this being their main source of
income. Being unable to get this income from any other source means that they
become dependent as this is the only way they are able to provide for
themselves and their children with a sense of security and stability, which is
why the reduction impacted families so harshly.

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to the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, the benefits which are paid to
the low-income families in the UK have reduced. Before this it is highlighted
that the benefits one would receive would be in accordance with their cost of
living; this is the amount that they need in relation to their everyday
necessities and items. In the present day however, regardless of the cost of
living, the values of benefits will not rise like it once did (Anon, 2016).
As a result, families on a low income would have had to alter and re-budget
their necessities now that less income will be given to them. They may not be
able to afford all that is needed and therefore struggle to fully provide for
themselves and their children to a level which is deemed as socially

In general, the stigma attached to Welfare
reforms is to mostly negative. This is due to the media, families who accept
benefits are generalised as rather incapable or victims of poverty, labels
which can often affect the social lives of the service user. Poverty is a
subjective concept, although to put it in its simplest form it means when one
does not have the basic human need essentials to survive. In terms of the
media, this is evident through case study Marie Buchan more famously recognized
by the wider population as ‘Octomum’. Buchan gained negative media popularity and
publicity due to the belief that she was clearly abusing her rights for benefits
and what she was spending it on. She states in an interview she had on a British
television programme called ‘This Morning’ that she will be using the wages
given to her for a boob job, and when asked why they are not being spent on her
children she replied that she uses ‘child tax credit and working tax credits’ (Grills,
2016) for them. There was a public outrage, resulting in the wider population to
generalize and judge all people on benefits and to label them as lazy and abusing
their rights failing to recognize the struggle most endure. From this, a
low-income family lived experience socially became increasingly poor as they
too are being victimized and labelled which could result in them becoming
socially withdrawn or excluded from society due to embarrassment or shame. Associations are made between being on benefits and
poverty, and therefore low-income families may feel that they are being criticised
due to the feeling that they are being looked down upon or treated differently by their peers.

The family’s children may endure this concept of
social exclusion more harshly, as the innocence of children on a whole and their lack of
understanding can often lead to them being brutally honest and not taking into
account the extent of the affects they can have on others. Their quality of
life in regards to their lived experiences could be argued in the sense that
due to their low family income and therefore having to be on benefits, they are
enduring and experiencing what children and teenagers should of that age should
not. This can be directly seen in Professor Green’s documentary ‘Living in
Poverty’ when he was talking to ten year old Kelly Louise, she told him the
personal affects of having to move from house to house has on her personally
due to not having a lot of money and receiving such low benefits. She then goes
on to say that she hates having to move around so much because she finds it
hard to settle down without any friends and that ‘when I don’t have my friends
with me I get really upset and really lonely’ (McLaughlin,
2017). This highlights the impact welfare reform reduction and low benefits on
a whole has on the children in low income families in a social aspect. In
Louise’s case such things such as the benefit cap means that the amount of
income her mother initially received had been reduced, this meaning that the
amount her mother got for her housing benefits in tune fell and therefore she was
unable to pay for rent resulting in the continuous moving from house to house.
Though the children may not fully understand the financial aspects of their
current financial issue, they still to some extent have an understanding that
they are not so fortunate. This conveys how their lived experiences are
affected socially, and the emotional and social barriers they must overcome.

Furthermore, in the sense that children are
affected due to not having the essentials or materialistic goods that most children
or teenagers have at a certain age, according to an online article on the Daily
Mail, ‘Over HALF of children under 10 have a mobile phone’ (London, 2014).
However, those low-income families who do receive benefits may be unable to
provide this to their children and therefore when at school, their children may
experience being mocked or labelled which could affect them both mentally and
emotionally. On the other hand, it could also be argued whether lacking these
materialistic items does equal a poor living experience, or in actuality being
a result of the media influencing this particular mindset. It is clear that the
media is part of a child’s secondary socialisation, meaning that it impacts their way of thought
greatly. Therefore, families being unable to give their children who are under
ten years old a mobile phone, in reality, is not gravely affecting their living
experience as it is not necessary. However, both the ways in which modern day
society works and the statistics show that such materialism does affect ones
living experience due to societal norms and expectations.

Throughout it has been made clear that those who
receive some form of welfare reform means that they are disadvantaged in some
way, and could potentially lead to other forms of emotional or social problems.
It was mentioned that the reduction of some welfare reforms means that families
are impacted so harshly, that what they are receiving is insignificant in
regards to what they actually ‘need’ to maintain a good quality of life.
However, many fail to recognize that there are also other agencies, charities
and organizations which are in fact deliberately put in place to counter
poverty offering support. There are many of the obvious charities such as
Oxfam, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Child Poverty Action Group – all put
in place to support and aid families. Some organizations even offer charitable
grants such as the Baron Davenport’s Charity who highlight that they can give
’emergency grants to single living ladies/ with their children’ (Anon, 2017).
In this sense, in knowing that there are alternative sources families can get
income or overall support from should tom some extent boost the quality of their
lived experience.