Archive for » October, 2015 «

Saturday, October 17th, 2015 | Author: mjward
CHILDREN IN POVERTY
Too many North American children are living in poverty. Although everyone is thought to have the same opportunities, these seem to pass by children who grow up in poor homes. They are more likely to drop out of school, have children young and become adults living in poverty. Thus their children live in poverty in their turn.
Some social analysts tie this cycle to the number of lone parent families and deplore the drop in marriages. They advocate marriage as an important solution to poverty. Promoting marriage as a prevention of poverty is simplistic. There are far too many factors involved. Certainly in the past, marriage tended to mean that families lived above the poverty line. In part, this was tied to men’s greater earning power. In part, it was the result of the growing number of two-earner families. Recent trends suggest that married couples have higher levels of education, greater earning power, and more stable relationships.
Yet trends appear to be more complex. The power of marriage to keep families from poverty seems to be waning. Increasing in importance is the income level of the family. Single mothers have, in the past, been categorized as young with lower educational levels and poorer wage prospects. More single mothers now have a college education and thus better financial prospects. The role of long-term cohabitation is often ignored in marriage statistics. Many of these relationships, however, are stable and often involve dual earners.
Parents’ choices can increase the impact of low income. For example, in my role on the Foster Care Review Board, I encounter parents who opt to use their money to buy alcohol or drugs, rather than food or clothing for their children. Even if they do use their resources for family needs, some may be poor money managers, while others budget wisely.
The community itself is important. The availability of child care affects both the opportunity to earn income and the amount of that income that is available after paying for the child care. While this can involve formal care (with or without subsidy), it is often provided by extended family members. A supportive family network can help mitigate the effects of poverty through activities like child care, as mentioned, and also through shared resources like garden produce and cooperative food preparation.
Child poverty isn’t simple and can’t be cured with a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a complex issue and needs multi-faceted solutions.
Reference:
Baker, R. S. (2015). The changing association among marriage, work, and child poverty in the United States, 1974-2010. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77, 1166-1178.

CHILDREN IN POVERTY

Too many North American children are living in poverty. Although everyone is thought to have the same opportunities, these seem to pass by children who grow up in poor homes. They are more likely to drop out of school, have children young and become adults living in poverty. Thus their children live in poverty in their turn.

Some social analysts tie this cycle to the number of lone parent families and deplore the drop in marriages. They advocate marriage as an important solution to poverty. Promoting marriage as a prevention of poverty is simplistic. There are far too many factors involved. Certainly in the past, marriage tended to mean that families lived above the poverty line. In part, this was tied to men’s greater earning power. In part, it was the result of the growing number of two-earner families. Recent trends suggest that married couples have higher levels of education, greater earning power, and more stable relationships.

Yet trends appear to be more complex. The power of marriage to keep families from poverty seems to be waning. Increasing in importance is the income level of the family. Single mothers have, in the past, been categorized as young with lower educational levels and poorer wage prospects. More single mothers now have a college education and thus better financial prospects. The role of long-term cohabitation is often ignored in marriage statistics. Many of these relationships, however, are stable and often involve dual earners.

Parents’ choices can increase the impact of low income. For example, in my role on the Foster Care Review Board, I encounter parents who opt to use their money to buy alcohol or drugs, rather than food or clothing for their children. Even if they do use their resources for family needs, some may be poor money managers, while others budget wisely.

The community itself is important. The availability of child care affects both the opportunity to earn income and the amount of that income that is available after paying for the child care. While this can involve formal care (with or without subsidy), it is often provided by extended family members. A supportive family network can help mitigate the effects of poverty through activities like child care, as mentioned, and also through shared resources like garden produce and cooperative food preparation.

Child poverty isn’t simple and can’t be cured with a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a complex issue and needs multi-faceted solutions.

Reference:

Baker, R. S. (2015). The changing association among marriage, work, and child poverty in the United States, 1974-2010. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77, 1166-1178.