The Smith Family launches its 2020 Back to School Appeal to help more than 9,000 children in need
More than half (55%) of Australians report seeing children and families affected by poverty in their local area, according to a new survey1 commissioned by children’s education charity The Smith Family.
The survey of more than 1,000 Australians also found that, despite more than two thirds of people (68%) underestimating the level of child poverty in Australia, an overwhelming majority (90%) believe tackling child poverty should be a top priority for the nation.
As families prepare for a new school year, The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O’Brien said the impact of poverty on a child’s educational outcomes can be devastating.
“One in six children are living in poverty in Australia today2. Sadly, the poverty these children are experiencing at home can negatively affect their school lives as well.”
Dr O’Brien said she’s also extremely concerned about the impact of the catastrophic bushfires on families the charity already supports.
“Some of our families live in communities which have been ravaged by these fires. All families have come through safe, but there are hundreds directly impacted. The effects of these fires will be felt in many ways by our families. Of particular concern are the longer term economic impacts – business loss, disruption and downturn. These consequences will be widespread and will be felt strongly by families – families already experiencing disadvantage.
“In addition, we are expecting there will be more families pushed into extremely difficult financial situations because of these fires. We will be working closely with schools in all our communities nationally to ensure our education-oriented support is available to new families experiencing high need.
“What we don’t want is for family poverty to affect any child’s educational outcomes. Long after this crisis is over, we will be there for children to mitigate the educational struggles they may face as a result of their family circumstances. And, through this survey, I am heartened to see how, like us, Australians are very concerned about the educational impact of poverty on young people,” said Dr O’Brien.
SOURCE: Lisa O’Brien. “New survey: One in two Australians see poverty affecting children and families in their community.” The Smith Family, 21 January 2020.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia