The struggles faced by low income mothers raising children in an expensive city like Vancouver are exceptional - the soaring cost of essential living expenses such as housing, food, child care and transportation can eclipse a low income mother’s capacity to provide for her family.
This has a significant, long-lasting impact on their children.
Children living in poverty are the most likely to have compromised cognitive development, poor mental and physical health, and poor educational outcomes. Without intervention, these outcomes create what’s called “the cycle of poverty,” where children raised in poverty face exceptional barriers to achieving health and stability in adulthood.
This cycle of poverty is often rooted in a lack of appropriate and adequate supports for low income mothers. Without the resources they need to provide a loving and stable environment for their children and themselves, apprehension of the child into the foster care system is an all too common reality.
Children who grow up in foster care and eventually become parents themselves, do so without the loving example of their own families and communities in their lives.
Interventions that reduce stress on low income mothers by increasing their social, emotional and financial resources, can effectively alter the course of development for their children. Building strong relationships with peers and having access to a welcoming, supportive community reduces poverty-related stress for low income moms and sets them up to be the very best parents they can be.
Children learn from their mother’s example and grow into adults who are resilient, hardworking and compassionate.