ARACY has produced To have and to have not: Measuring child deprivation and opportunity in Australia which examines the extent to which children are having their needs met in five key and interlocking areas, which The Nest shows are central to a child’s wellbeing. The Nest domains are: Being Loved and Safe; Having Material Basics; Being Healthy; Learning; Participating; and Having a Positive Sense of Identity & Culture.
The report uses the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to assess these interlocking areas by selecting up to 16 key indicators to measure deprivation among Australian children.
In summary our report finds:
- Children in jobless families were more likely to suffer from a greater number of deprivations than any other group examined. For example, they are more than 4 times more likely to be homeless than kids in families where an adult works, nearly twice as likely to be bullied or face social exclusion and almost two and a half times more likely to be missing out on learning at home.
- Children in monetary poverty (that is children living below the poverty line) suffered effects far wider than just their material basics. For example, they are more than 1.7 times more likely to face food insecurity, nearly twice as likely to lack good relationships with friends and almost two and a half times more likely to be missing out on learning at home.
- Children with disability, while generally engaged and included in the family and home environment, are more likely to be experiencing significant social exclusion both at school and in the community. They are also more likely to experience deprivation across all dimensions including being up to three times more likely to lack relationships with friends, and around two times more likely to have mental health concerns.
- For all Australian children, the highest rate of deprivation at almost all stages was through frequent bullying or social exclusion, which is as high as 28% at age 8-9. Deprivation in children’s health within Australia is relatively high and tends to get worse over time with almost 40% of children deprived in this dimension at age 10-11. Over one-quarter of children aged 10-11 are not eating any fruit or vegetables in a day. Mental health concerns are also starting early in a young person’s life, with almost 1 in 10 children aged 6-7 showing signs of social-emotional stress.
SOURCE: Kate Sollis. “To have and to have not: Measuring Child Deprivation and Opportunity in Australia.” ARACY, 2019.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia