Children in poverty forego own needs
CHILDREN are suppressing their own needs to shield their parents from the social stigma of poverty, a report has found.
The University of New South Wales study is one of the first Australian reports into the effect of economic disadvantage on children and teens.
It found young people aged between 11 and 17 are missing out on sport and school camps, caring for siblings and doing part-time work to help out their parents, rather than concentrating on their education.
The study is based on more than 130 interviews with people aged between 11 and 17 in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, as well as their parents, teachers and service providers.
Around 12 per cent of Australian children live in households that get less than 50 per cent of the median income, says author Jennifer Skattebol.
“Poverty in this country isn’t rare, nor is it short-term,” she says in a statement.
“It’s alarming that so many of these young people are unable to take up educational and social opportunities because their families cannot afford the additional costs involved.”
Bullying and a lack of safe or appropriate places to go with friends is another problem identified in the report.
The report, Making a Difference: Building on Young People’s Experiences of Economic Adversity, will be launched in Sydney tomorrow, Thursday August 9, by the Social Policy Research Centre and The Smith Family.