Single-parent families and child poverty

Single-parent families and child poverty

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The emergence of new family structures in developed countries is a challenge for the levels of well-being that are currently sought to be achieved. The living conditions, school dropout rates and expectations for the future development of the child depend, to a large extent, on of the typology of the family nucleus in which his childhood develops.

Various studies have radiographed the various existing single parenting situations and have diagnosed that child poverty in advanced modern societies is increasing in recent years. The indicators reveal that poverty levels are higher in single-parent households than in other living units with dependent children.

Child poverty rates are increasing in advanced modern societies because, in general, the social policies of the States have failed to adapt to the new family realities. Equal opportunities at the beginning of the life cycle is decisive for the destiny of people, it is not acceptable that the exclusion that minors may experience marks them throughout their lives and ends up determining their future in an irreversible way. In other words, children have a whole life ahead of them and they should not have to suffer the repercussions of the vicissitudes experienced by their parents.

The proportion of children living in poverty has increased in 17 of the 24 OECD countries for which data are available. Greece, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland are the European countries whose at-risk rates of child poverty exceed 20 percent.

The study shows that fathers and mothers who head single-parent nuclei have living conditions that, as a whole, are inferior to those of those who live with a partner, and this greatly influences their children's chances in life. Furthermore, there are not only inequalities between minors who live with their two parents and those who live with their father or mother, but also among those who experience different forms of single parenthood.

The low expenditure on benefits and services for families in general harms the most vulnerable - such as single parents - more than other family units and is one of the factors associated with high levels of child poverty . Given the consolidation of single-parent forms as a normal and legitimate phenomenon, responses that minimize the cost that these options have not only for those affected but also for the population as a whole would be necessary. One of the conclusions of the study is that to guarantee equal opportunities for minors, welfare states should adopt more child-oriented social policies as well as undertake profound reforms. The well-being of children and adults living in single-parent households depends to a large extent on how they are treated by the governments of each country and on how and to what extent they seek to bridge the gaps between emerging social structures and existing provisions of the Welfare states.

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