Child Poverty Essay, Research Paper
Child Poverty: Is the End Near?
The article “Breakdown of family blamed for child poverty” found in the Tuesday March 23, 1999 edition of the Toronto Star, informs the public of a very serious problem – child poverty.
Although child poverty is basically a worldwide problem, Canada is determined to eliminate it on its own turf. The problem however is “child poverty has increased by more than 50 per cent since the House of Commons voted in 1989 to eradicate it by 2000. Only nine months before to deadline, one-in-five Canadian children live in poverty, or about 1.5 million kids.”
Studies have made clear that poor children not only suffer now from the lack of proper nutrition, clothing and shelter, but that they are significantly at-risk in comparison to the general population as they grow up. Poor children perform less well in school and are more likely to drop out of high school. Poor children are less healthy, and more likely to suffer from developmental or physical disabilities. Adults who were poor are less likely to find stable, well-paying jobs than those who were not poor. Research has demonstrated convincingly that there is a connection between money spent on early intervention programmes for children and substantial later savings in remedial costs.
Here are the facts about child poverty in Canada: The rate of child poverty in Canada has increased by 45% between 1989 and 1995: in 1995 there were almost one and a half million children living below the poverty line. This represents more than one out of every five Canadian children. The figure today is almost certainly higher. In the same period the poverty gap has increased by $2.5 billion: in 1989 it would have cost $4.6 billion to lift Canada’s children out of poverty; in 1995 the figure was $7.1 billion. In the same period, the number of families with incomes below $20,000 has increased by 45%. The number of children in families experiencing long-term unemployment has increased by 47%. The number of children in working poor families has increased by 43%. The number of children in families receiving social assistance has increased by 68%. The number of poor children in lone-parent families has increased by 64% and in 2-parent families by 57%. The number of poor children in unaffordable rental housing has increased by 48%. One in four children by age 11 already show some significant academic and/or emotional and/or behavioural and/or social problem.
Two other institutions affected by child poverty are education and health care. The reason why I feel education is affected by child poverty is due to malnutrition. If a child is not fed the proper amount of food at home, the child will not be able to operate in school efficiently. Health care is also tied into this because if a child is not eating properly, health problems will occur. Once categorised, child poverty is a hard situation to recover from.
All in all child poverty in not a winning situation and although some cases are worse than others are, we, as the advantaged must attempt to aid this problem because one case is one to many.