It has come to the attention of the Child Protection Party that one in six children are currently growing up below the poverty line. We are aware that poverty has significant impact on a person's health and well-being. It was reported in the advertiser today that a key to breaking the poverty cycle is that of education.
Sergio Macklin from the Mitchell Institute at the Victoria University highlights the distressing fact that "10% of Australians have nearly half of all household wealth". It is estimated that the number of people affected by poverty is somewhere in the vicinity of 3.4 million people which represents around 13% of the Australian population. It is regretful that most of the population are unaware of the impact that poverty has on families and particularly children.
What we need to be asking ourselves is what impact does this have on children where the family is living below the poverty line. It affects the equipment children may need in order to further their education e.g. computers, money for excursions and sometimes respectable clothing to wear to school. We need to be asking ourselves how this impacts to the well-being of children. Lack of nutrition obviously impacts their mental well-being and ability to be able to function at their best level. It impacts how they feel about themselves which affects their confidence level and their belief in themselves.
It is not the children's fault that they are suffering from an economic level which restricts their ability to be able to socialise and respond to their world in a productive and meaningful way. As their self esteem diminishes they find it more difficult to extricate themselves from the poverty trap.
As parents struggle financially often drug addiction and domestic violence begin to play a part in the family's life and further inhibits the ability for children to move beyond the family crises and into a world of safety and well-being. Failing at school is likely to have a detrimental impact on the child for the rest of their life. It will determine their future income and this is likely to manifest in revisiting the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.
The Child Protection Party believe that this issue needs to be addressed so that all children have equal opportunity to develop and grow and prosper. By lifting people out of poverty protects children from abuse and mental well-being struggles. It changes their thinking and maps a future which is productive. We cannot ignore the impact poverty has on children.