One-parent youths ‘face struggle’

Sydney Morning Herald 11 July 2013
Children growing up in single-parent families are among the groups most  likely to face ongoing and entrenched disadvantage, a new report warns.

Almost 9 per cent of children aged under 10  who had lived with a single  parent experienced poverty for between six and 10 years, the Productivity  Commission report, to be released on Thursday, says.

Only 2 per cent of children who had lived in two-parent households over a  decade experienced sustained poverty. ”A child’s earliest years fundamentally  shape their life chances,” the report’s authors write.

”Gaps in capabilities between children from socio-economically disadvantaged  families and their more advantaged peers appear early in life. Starting school  behind the eight-ball can begin a cycle of disadvantage that sets a trajectory  for poorer outcomes later in life.”

The report looked at the experiences of people facing poverty between 2001  and 2010.

Although some who experience disadvantage move out of it relatively quickly,  the report found, others struggle for years.

Those people are most likely to be single parents and their children,  indigenous Australians, and people with low educational qualifications and  persistent health conditions or disabilities.