What is disadvantage thinking?
Ask any young person, and they will tell you that for any individual to develop their potential and thrive, first there needs to be a sense of self-pride and a set of personal goals. Remove these and independently of the social, societal, biological, political factors that may be evoked, we should expect to see a life of underachievement and likely criminality. We develop these goals and aspirations though a mixture of factors such as our parents, role models, our peers and teachers. But first, we have to believe in ourselves.
However, society and the modern educational, justice, social and healthcare infrastructures start from the premise that if we are accessing a public service, then we must have a problem; it is not because we are simply pursuing our ambitions.
This is particularly true for young people. If they are accessing healthcare services, then they are seen as “consumers” of public money. If they have come to the attention of the criminal justice system, then they are labelled as “criminals”. If they do not have a home, then they are “homeless”, or if they have been in state care, then they are “care leavers”. We have even created special funding programmes for “NEET” young people!