Child poverty

Child poverty

Don Edgar, David Keane and Peter McDonald

Historical publication— December 1989
Child poverty

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In 1987, Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke made an election undertaking that no Australian child need be living in poverty in 1990. What did this mean?

Since the Henderson Report in the early 1970s first raised public awareness of the level of poverty in affluent Australia, there had been little progress in reducing the numbers of those who live without adequate means to support themselves. Moves to reform taxation and improved family assistance go some way towards a solution, but is more money enough? What else does child poverty involve? Can we afford child poverty?

Do we understand the problem? Do we lack the will to tackle it?

Child Poverty examines the reasons for the existence of poverty and the policy issues which must be addressed if the underlying causes of poverty are to be eliminated. It pictures the everyday experience of children living in poverty, and reminds us of the costs we all must bear in wasted human resources because such poverty exists.

Child Poverty surveys the current data, presents the issues in an accessible manner, and challenges the policy makers.

Chapters in this book were presented as papers at a conference on Child Poverty convened in April 1988 by the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Australian Council of Social Service.


The book is prefaced by statements by the Prime Minister, Mr Hawke, and Brian Howe, the Minister for Social Security which outline government policies and programs aimed to reduce child poverty. Papers included in this book are indexed separately and are as follows: The social cost of poverty, by D. Edgar; Inequality and deprivation among families with children: an exploratory study, by P. Whiteford, B. Bradbury and P. Saunders; The everyday life of children in poverty, by J. Trethewey; Made in Australia: youth policies and the creation of crime, by M. Presdee; Child poverty and housing, by J. Vipond; Child poverty and children's health, by N. Hicks, J. Moss and R. Turner; Child poverty and educational action, by R. W. Connell and V. White; The estimated impact of the Family Package on child poverty, by H. Brownlee and A. King; Children's poverty and labour market issues: confronting the causes, by B. Cass; The cost of children, by D. Edgar.

Publication details

Historical publication
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, December 1989.
236 pp.
ISBN: 
0-04-370184-1

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