Child poverty has detrimental effects on not just children, but their families and society as a whole. Poverty is not only something that affects individuals financially, despite the lack of money being a huge contributing factor to poverty. Child poverty can mean that children miss out on normal activities and face isolation and exclusion as a result of it. These children lack a secure home and this can affect the child’ development and health.
These impacts can have long-term consequences for the education, employment and economic security of these children when they become adults. These long-term effects are likely to become greater if the child has experienced poverty for a long time. The negative impact of poverty can also be profound if it is experienced in the early years of childhood life. The outcome for these children can be more harmful if the child comes from a low income family, combined with other disadvantages such as: limited parental education and family conflict.
Poverty for children and their families can lead to social exclusion because of their inability to gain employment to material source, health, safety and education. Research from the Brotherhood of Saint Laurence and Melbourne University found that 5% of Australians face “deep social exclusion” and another 1% face “very deep social exclusion.”
Research released by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) found that 4% – 6% of Australians – that’s between 1 and 1.5 million of us- live in poverty, without any possibility of escaping it.
The CEDA report uses a combination of two other methods to come up with its million-person figure. Firstly, they look at the “deprivation” approach which considers whether people have access to necessary goods and services.
A 2010 survey found that 18% of Australians did not have up to $500 in their savings accounts in case of an emergency. Thirteen per cent of adults and parents could not afford dental treatment if they needed it, while 8% of them did not have enough for an annual trip to the dentist for their children. In these families, 10% do not have home and contents insurance and 20% of them aren’t able to afford a week’s holiday away from home each year.
No Australian deserves to live like this.
Your Child Poverty Advocate,