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  • Author or Editor: Rebecca Webb x
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We investigate whether work and partnership life courses between ages 16 and 54 predict the likelihood of providing care to a parent or parent-in-law at age 55, and whether these associations differ by gender or early life socio-economic circumstances. In the National Child Development Study (NCDS), fully adjusted models showed that strong life course ties to marriage were linked with a greater likelihood to provide parental care for both men and women. The longer women spent in part-time employment the more likely they were to provide care to a parent, while stronger life course ties to full-time employment were linked with a greater likelihood of providing care to a parent for men. The importance of part-time employment among women and long-term marriage for both men and women for uptake of parental care may imply a reduced pool of potential informal caregivers among subsequent generations for whom women have much stronger life course labour-market ties and life course partnerships have become more diverse.

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This article explores one primary school’s response to addressing poverty experienced by children and families, within a post-Covid context. It draws on a small-scale qualitative case study exploring the role of the Health and Well-being Lead (HWBL) in a primary school in a relatively affluent market town in the south-east of England. A psychoanalytical approach was taken to understand the data drawing on the researchers different situated experiences and knowledges. Participants included children, parents and staff at the school. All parent participants shared their financial challenges, which they referred to as ‘struggles’, with many relating to the impact of the cost of living and adverse unexpected events. Staff raised concerns about how cuts to support services and funding for schools had contributed to and exacerbated challenges due to long waiting lists and a lack of early intervention. The role of the HWBL was recognised by both parents and staff as an important resource within the school. Integral to this role was a non-judgemental and empathic approach, which created an open and trusting relationship with parents. Despite the apparent success of the role, it was evident that the workload and the increase in ‘struggles’ experienced by families was having an impact on both the HWBL and other staff. While we acknowledge that such a role could benefit other schools, we argue that this will only be successful and sustainable if the government also addresses the need for early intervention, funding and the workload crisis in children’s services and schools.

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