' 'Child'; : means a boy or a girl apparently or effectively aged less than eighteen years'; (Van Stolk 146). 'Rich kids, middle-class kids, poor kids - all deal with risk and neglect on a scale unimagined in previous generations'; (Hewitt 11). There are problems of poverty, absentee parents, divorce, violence and drugs, plus much more that is simply out of hand. Deprivation and rejection dominate the lives of many children, among both poor and middle-class. We cannot ensure the safety of children on the streets or in our homes. On the educational front, the news is even more disturbing, since underachievement and failure are now very popular.
Something else that contributes to child neglect is a fast rate of family breakdown. This is an effect of divorce and rapid increase in single parent pregnancies. Couples marrying today face an even higher chance of divorcing at some point during their lives together. 'A family's deterioration can come about in ways other than separation'; (Wilson 50). Staying together, in certain conditions and situations may increase further economical or psychological problems that may affect the child. Social attitudes today are scarcely more tolerant.
'With the ratio of one divorce in four marriages moving towards one in three, we have been forced to look beyond those unexamined assumptions to asses realistically the changing role and changing needs of the family in Canadian society'; (Canadian Council 28). For women, and their children, divorce can often put severe economic hardships on them. Another part of family breakdown can occur when the absence of a male presence or male support to single mother families. 'In the years following divorce living standards for ex-wives drop by an average of 30 percent while those for men rise an 8 percent'; (Hewitt 41). Although babies from teenage girls have declined, the unmarried single parent teenagers who have children have risen rapidly.
'There are now close to half a million live births to unwed teenagers every year'; (Hewitt 41). The children in our society are defined by their dependent status. 'From birth, to early adulthood, children must look to others to provide the adequate and dependable economic support required to meet their needs'; (Canadian Council 21). Even in early childhood, they cannot support themselves and even if they could, our society does not approve of child labour. 'Any study of the status of children as citizens in our society must devolve to a significant extent from an examination of the economic support system which provides them with the basic opportunity to enjoy the full rights and freedoms of citizens'; (Canadian Council 21). Since the basic foundation is that the family is and should be the social group responsible for the care and support of dependent youths, the argument of the relationship between the child and the economy of our society must first look at the economic role appointed to the adult guardians.
' Canadian law is enlightened in its insistence on the welfare of the child as the center of concern in all matters of employment, law-breaking, custody and support'; (Wilson 93). But if the law governs to protect children from certain obvious false's, it is also there to hold back the child from the fullest involvement in everyday life. The social status of the child rests among their families. Children today remain essentially the property of their parents who are free to do with them as they please. Circumstances are shown that those of their families usually determine children. The government should express how much it values children by guaranteeing certain universal rights or entitlements.
We need to design an understandable system of supports that give more chances to all Canadian children. Giving parental and maternity care are a positive way in showing how the government can establish its commitment to families with children. The government should also increase the amount of public money invested in young people. ' We spend very little money on our children: a mere 4. 8 percent of the federal budget goes to programs that support families with young children - compared with the 22. 9 percent for the elders'; (Hewitt 239).
It's time to fix the balance between the young and the old. Education and childcare should be our two main targets for the future. 'Our legal and regulatory systems should be restricted so that the rules of the game are more protective of the interests of the children'; (Hewitt 240). In the areas of marriage and divorce, the government should establish a more effective set of rewards and penalties to create a motivation for parents to stay together, or at least in the occasion of a breakdown that the child isn't abandoned or deprived. Ultimately the government should try to assign more power to families, rather than to substitute them. 'Children cannot live alone and do not thrive in institutions; there is no substitute for the parent (s) and the home'; (Hewitt 241).
Therefore, to help the parents prosper so they can in turn aid their children. A program that maintains free admission to prenatal and maternity care shows a new phase in commitment to children. At the same time, it makes a large investment in our present and future children. 'The quality of the Educational experiences which Canadian society provides for children is a reflection of the values, attitudes and beliefs of that society'; (Canadian Council 103). The necessity of a proper education for all children regardless of any condition or situation is crucial. 'Under present circumstances, social welfare and legal systems that are adult-oriented rather than child-centered are better designed to weigh the opinions and circumstances of the adults involved than to determine the child's actual needs and desires'; (Canadian Council 155).
There are few efforts made by the government to protect the health and welfare of children. 'In 1959 the United Nations adopted the Declaration of Rights of the Child, which declare the rights of children everywhere to receive adequate care from parents and the community'; (Encarta child welfare). ' The family services and child - guidance clinics work on parent - child relationship problems through individual and group counseling; the guidance clinics also give help to parents with emotionally disturbed children'; (Encarta child welfare). If we fail to keep our children healthy then we fail to provide them with a decent childcare. Everyday all aged children are forced to deal with our nations shortfall of childcare. Health care and child care, need change on the present system, it is an important factor, so that it can provide certain programs which will support parent (s) with daily aid.
It should be a birth right and no child should fall out of its safety. For the protection of the child, the requirement to be heard in any condition or situation regarding them but be looked at. We can now understand more of the dimensions of child neglect. We can hold on to the horrid suffering of middle-class children who where distressed by marital problems. Furthermore, we know that there are still techniques and strategies that do exist. 'Nothing is more worth doing than easing the pain and improving the life chances of vulnerable, blameless children'; (Hewitt 283).
We need to invest in our children to save ourselves from further disaster. An additional distinctive character, is if we revise our civil policies so that children may prosper, it will greatly improve the economic status of women. 'Enhancing and enforcing child support awards eases the lives of the children of divorce but also bolsters the standard living of ex-wives; mandating parental leave improves life circumstances of infants but also protects the earning power of women and reduces wage gap,' ; (Hewitt 282). 'If we fail to look after our children they will drag this nation down'; (Hewitt 10). Bibliography - Canadian Council on Children and Youth. Admittance restricted: The child as citizen in Canada.
Ottawa, Ont. , c 1978. - Van Stolk, Mary. The battered child in Canada. Rev. ed.
Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c 1978. - Hewitt, Sylvia Ann. When the bough breaks: the cost of neglecting our children. New York, New York. 1987. - Wilson, Jeffrey.
Up against it: Children and the law in Canada. Toronto, A nasi. c 1980.