Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Lindsay Mitchell: Teen parents - a real differenceLabels: Lindsay Mitchell, Teenage Pregnancy, Welfare Reform
For years I have agitated about the long-term DPB population being derived from teenage births. The children of these parents form the most at-risk group. But from 2008 the number of teenage births started dropping. In 2013 there were 29 percent fewer than in 2009. But even better, at March 2009 there were 4,425 teenage parents on any main benefit. By March 2014 the number had dropped to 2,560. A 42 percent reduction.
The really important news is it's happening across all ethnicities.The proportions are reasonably stable.
In 2009, 52 percent were Maori; in 2013, 55 percent.
For Pacific Island, the proportion rose slightly from 9 to 11 percent.
NZ European dropped from 29 to 25 percent.
The percentage who are aged 16-17 dropped from slightly from 16.5 to 15%.
The percentage who are male is unchanged 4%.
This means thousands fewer children experiencing poor outcomes - ill-health, disconnect from education, in and out of fostercare, potentially abused and neglected, having the cards stacked against them from the outset.
Thousands of would-be teen mums will continue on with their own lives and fulfilling potential, and hopefully have children when they are ready to.
It's a fantastic development.
National deserve at least some credit for it with their new young parent mentoring and benefit management regime.
at 9:21 AM