Do disparities in wealth compromise the independent welfare and developmental interests of children? Essay

Do disparities in wealth compromise the independent welfare and developmental interests of children? Wordcount: 748 Do disparities in wealth compromise the independent welfare and developmental interests of children? Based on the information presented it is clear that disparities in wealth most definitely compromise both the independent welfare and developmental interests of children.

As a nation Canada has signed a convention that includes many statements with regards to ending child poverty; if child poverty did not have negative effects on welfare and development it would not have been ncluded in the convention in the first place (Covell, Howe, 2001 : 37). There has been a negative correlation found between low incomes and lower IQ in children. Having a lower IQ based upon the limitations of living in poverty is unfair to the child and obviously not in their best interest.

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As well as having lower IQs these children have also been found to have higher rates of learning disabilities (Covell, Howe, 2001 : 43). A child’s cognitive development is not the only aspect of their life that suffers due to poverty; their social and emotional development is also negatively affected. A child living in poverty is more at risk of having anti-social behaviours as well as both externalizing and internalizing their problems. Externalizing problems refers to being violent, bullying, having poor social skills and being impulsive; all characteristics not usually looked upon positively.

Internalizing problems refers to high levels of anxiety, social withdrawal and depression; again all personality characteristics with negative connotations. The case of Richard Cardinal is a prime example of negative impacts of poverty on a child. Richard grew up in various low-income foster homes and the impacts on his development were detrimental. Richard lived in 28 placements during his time in the foster system. He was moved on many occasions because of his problem with wetting the bed.

This is a problem often associated with anxiety levels. If Richard’s foster parents would have had enough money to purchase a mattress cover the downward spiral that ended his life probably could have been prevented (Obomsawin, 1986). This is Just one example of one child’s life that has been very negatively impacted by poverty. Obviously not all cases end so tragically or in such an extreme fashion but child poverty does always lead to some form of compromise in the independent welfare and developmental interests ofa child.

If so, what might be done about this? Solving the issue of child poverty is very complicated. No one likes to hear about a child in need, so if there was an easy way to eliminate child poverty it would have happened already. Some of the main causes of child poverty include high rates of unemployment, the rise of single-parent families, reduced social programs, family reakdowns, and the ever growing income gap (Covell, Howe, 2001 : 42). To combat child poverty these are the key issues that must be faced.

A lot of these base issues are OITTlcult to resolve, Tor example slngle parentnooa; tnus tne proDlem must De addressed from different angles. Adjusting minimum wage would be an excellent way to start to change child poverty but this can be a challenge with a conservative government whose greatest support is businesses (Blokhuis, 2013). An increase in social programming or subsidies for single parents would also have major benefits ut is again unattainable with a conservative government. The best way to have a significant impact on the current issue would be education.

If young adults in poverty can get a good education they can then in turn get a higher paying Job and break the cycle of poverty. This would require public post-secondary education that allows for everyone to have an equal chance of earning a degree. This is not an immediate solution but would in the long run result in a reduction in the impoverished population. While waiting for the effects of a solution like this, it would also be very eneficial to create a public daycare system or at least a system similar to Quebec’s (Blokhuis, 2013).

This would only have positive results for the children; allowing parents to spend their money on other necessities, reducing their stress and allowing them to parent in a much more effective manner (Covell, Howe, 2001 : 66). If children are given proper one on one attention and care as an infant and continually as they grow older this can help counteract some of the negative effects of poverty. Change will be hard to create but every child deserves to live a life free of poverty.


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