Money Can't Fix Everything: the impact of family relationships on poverty

This new report by Matt N. Williams demonstrates that family dysfunction is a key driver in poverty and, because of this, healthier families are a big part of the solution.


"An admirable and timely piece of work. A relational approach has become fashionable among policy makers and third sector professionals – and Matt Williams here reminds us that our first relational experience takes place in the family. In our challenging times, family should be at the heart of public policy, not on the side-lines of public life."

Cristina Odone, Head of Family Policy Unit, Centre for Social Justice


"Matt Williams addresses the great scar of poverty in modern Britain, and offers a deeply biblical answer to an issue that governments have found intractable or wanted to simply deny. For those who work with vulnerable and deprived households the personal experience that is woven through the critical analysis of public policy provides a deep authenticity to the work. This work presents a compelling biblical case for the crucial role family households play in tackling poverty. I encourage all those truly interested in writing a better story for our nation to rise above partisan preconceptions and read this report."

Ross Hendry, Chief Executive, Spurgeons Children's Charity


If you look at the manifestos of political parties on both the left and the right, you’ll see a pattern emerge; in many cases, tackling poverty is seen as a left-wing concern, whilst strengthening family is the sole province of the politically right. This separation of key social and economic issues along political lines is all too common. But what if, after taking a holistic look at the ugly wound of poverty, we find that it’s not just unhelpful, but impossible to talk about poverty without the family?

This booklet starts by painting three pictures of contemporary poverty, covering public consciousness of poverty in both Africa and the UK. In part II, it explores how we can recover the overlooked economic reality of family, arguing that the Scriptures give us a holistic perspective on family as part of a wider socio-economic vision. Finally, part III brings this biblical perspective to bear on today’s world. It suggests ways in which these ideas can be applied to face the contemporary challenge of poverty in three key areas: households, churches and government policy. 


Matt N. Williams has a Master's degrees in musicology and divinity, and has been a student of theology, both informally and formally, for around two decades. He has also taught in Malawi, Northern Ireland and England.


This booklet is also available to purchase in hard copy here.


Cover image designed by Freepik

Money Cant Fix Everything