Welfare Watch - June 3, 2009 - The Importance of Intact Families 

A recent report by Child Trends, “THE WELL-BEING OF MARYLAND PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN: DIFFERENCES BY INCOME STATUS AND FAMILY STRUCTURE examined the differences by income status and family structures.  What they found is not a surprise to anyone who works in the field of child welfare.  There are important differences in well-being between children and their parents in low-income families and their counterparts in higher-income families. Similarly, (and not surprisingly) significant differences exist in many measures of child well-being in families headed by single mothers and families headed by two biological or adoptive parents.  Children who find themselves either in poor families or single headed families are often facing difficulties that children of affluent and intact families do not face.  However, after controlling for the child’s gender, age, and race/ethnicity and the better educated parent’s educational attainment, they found that these differences were not statistically significant for many factors.  Single parents' educational attainment does make a difference in the wellbeing of a child.   

The only advantages that low income single parent families have over their higher income two-parent families are:   

Families do make a difference.  Two-parent households are an asset to the child.  Our policies and practices must make a difference in preserving and supporting families that provide two parents to care for its children.  Georgia’s direction in enhancing child welfare by supporting and strengthening families is good for children, good for Georgia and good for child welfare. 

Welfare Watch, an email newsletter of the
Georgia Association of Homes
and Services for Children
as a public service.
Normer Adams, Editor

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