Invest in Families: Ending Child Poverty Is Good For All
Every night, hundreds of thousands of Alberta children suffer the all-encompassing effects of poverty.
Every night, hundreds of thousands of Alberta children suffer the all-encompassing effects of poverty. Poverty is the single most important determinant of health for both children and adults. In Canada, approximately 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line. This leads to debilitating effects for their personal physical and mental health, which can cause lasting damage.
Research shows that children and youth who grow up impoverished face significant challenges. They are more vulnerable to issues affecting mental health, educational attainment, health & cognitive development, housing, relationships, employment, and food insecurity. When compared to the non-poor, the long-term poor show large deficits in cognitive and socioemotional development; score significantly lower on tests of cognitive achievement than do children who are not poor. It is immoral to allow child poverty to exist. Children and youth are suffering from long-term health issues and seeing their potential diminished.
Poverty is often linked to adverse childhood experiences and economic security for families is imperative in mitigating the cycle of poverty. In general, children who grow up in low-income situations are more likely to remain in low income into adulthood. Family circumstances may also affect one’s life path. For instance, Alberta children living with a lone parent are five times more likely to live in low-income households, while immigrant or Indigenous children are also at a higher risk of living in poverty.
Currently, children’s health is being explored through the lens of trauma. Adverse childhood experiences are traumatic events in childhood such as household instability, economic insecurity, and experiencing or witnessing violence. Adverse childhood experiences have been linked to precarious health behaviours, chronic health issues, poorer outcomes, and early death. Children who experience cumulative adverse childhood experiences are more likely to have physical, emotional, and social issues. Children whose parents are living in poverty are more likely to experience lower socioeconomic status as well as other negative outcomes as adults.
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Edmonton Social Planning Council
10544 - 106 Street NW, Suite 200 (Bassini Building)
Edmonton, Alberta T5H 2X6
Business Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Please note our office is temporarily closed to the public.
Due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, the Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) is taking precautionary measures to do our part in slowing the spread of the disease.
The ESPC physical office will be closed effective March 16, 2020, until further notice. We will continue to work and serve our community and clients remotely. All of us at ESPC have the necessary resources to work remotely with little disruption to our scheduled project deliverables.
Please note that by working remotely, emails will be answered, but phone calls may take longer to respond too. We would recommend email or our website contact form as the quickest way to connect with us.
Additionally, all in-person ESPC events and meetings have been cancelled. We will be monitoring the situation and decide soon on the status of our Annual General Meeting and the scope of our 80th Anniversary celebrations.
* Please note that we are not a government department or direct service provider. We do not provide individuals with information about social benefit programs (i.e. AISH, workers compensation benefits, etc.). If you have questions about these services, please dial 211 or access online by clicking here. For assistance with provincial programs, Alberta Supports can help you access more than 30 programs and 120 community services https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-supports.aspx.