The article presents results of the research on 'Inheriting poverty and breaking away from poverty in families of former state farms workers', conducted within the project 'Poverty and social exclusion and methods of combating them', directed by Professor Stanislawa Golinowska. The research was an investigation of the young generation from former state farms - enclaves of rural poverty, and focused in particular on the threat of inheritance of poverty and social exclusion. It shows that the process of inheriting of poverty or breaking away from it is correlated with such factors as nature and depth of family poverty, family structure and number of children, family life cycle and its cultural capital. This research, like other research studies conducted within the project 'Poverty and social exclusion' reveals a general weakness and ineffectiveness of institutions and lack of systemic solutions to the problems of young people. It uncovers as well the important role of certain individuals, so called 'significant ones', whose support and advice had crucial impact on young people's lives.