Research Reports and Evaluations - Page 11

Gender Of the 254 participants in the 2014 ER Survey, 70.5% were female, an increase from the 2010 survey (66.5%). There were also significantly more women with dependent children (50.7%) compared to men (18.8%) and women represented a staggering 86.7% of all single-headed families with dependent children. These figures not only illustrate the greater burden local women shoulder in the raising of children under seemingly increasing financial stress, but also point to a reduced capacity for women to balance childrearing responsibilities with seeking work as a pathway to financial resilience and self-reliance. Gender Female Proportion of respondents who were female Women in caring roles and with dependent children are disproportionally overrepresented within WCC’s ER services regardless of their income source. Women respondents represented a 100% of all Single Parenting Payment recipients, 92% of all Carer Allowance recipients and 68.8% of all Newstart Allowance recipients. Clearly women, particularly those with dependents, are finding the welfare safety-net inadequate. In 2012, the government introduced changes to the Single Parenting Payment which involved transitioning parents to Newstart allowance once the youngest child turns 8. This has left many single parent households worse off by between $60 and $80 per week, pushing many families deeper into r financial hardship. The impact on families has been significant with survey respondents indicating they could not afford to meet many of the basic elements of life for their children. For those survey respondents who had children, 42.3% indicated they could not provide access for their child/ren to a hobby or leisure out of school activity simply because they could not afford it (93.7%). Over a quarter of respondents also indicated their chi ldren did not have yearly dental check-ups (30.2%), their children did not have up to date schoolbooks and school clothes (28.2%), could not participate in school activities and outings (27.5%) and they could not provide a separate bedroom for each child over the age of 10 (26.2%). In particular, single parents with children were most likely to report not being able to provide their child/ren with access to these activities/items. Age Most respondents were aged between 26-45 (61%) years of age, an increase of 11% since 2010. 100% 92% PPS Carer 68.8% % Female NSA Male 42.3% Could not afford a hobby or leisure activity for their children 30.2% Could not afford early dental check ups 28.2% No up to date school clothes/books 27.5% Could not participate in school activities or outings 26.2% No separate bedroom for children over 10 years of age 12