Keep Investing in Alberta’s Children: The Government’s Role in Ending Child and Family Poverty
Prepared in partnership with the Edmonton Social Planning Council, Public Interest Alberta, Alberta College of Social Workers.
While it is crucial for government programs to focus on poverty reduction among all vulnerable populations in the country, this report focuses specifically on child poverty. This is because when children experience poverty, they are more vulnerable to various disadvantages and barriers later in life in the areas of employment, education, health, home ownership, and others. If governments of all levels can address the root causes of poverty such as inadequate income, lack of affordable housing, violence, food insecurity, discrimination, and others, the cycle of poverty can be broken and all children in Canada could have access to the resources needed for them to thrive (Boros and Pettes, 2015). Children and teens living in poverty are also more vulnerable to experiencing poor academic achievement, dropping out of school, abuse, neglect, behavioural and emotional problems, physical health struggles, and developmental delays. These challenges are worsened by the barriers that families and children living in poverty experience when they try to access health services (American Psychological Association, 2017).