Advocacy is an important part of Birthright’s work. We advocate in two important ways;
- at a local level we support families with ensuring that they understand and have access to support which they may be eligible for. Some of this work involves advising on individual their rights and entitlements.
- at a national level we advocate for systemic change to ensure better living conditions for all children growing up in families led by one person. This work includes working with like-minded organisations at a national level, to raise the issues which are important for the families we support. This work involves making political submissions, media releases and pushing a strategic agenda with government to better meet the needs of single parent led families.
Current advocacy topics which Birthright is actively working on include;
- Child support
- Domestic Violence
- Families with High Needs children
Local advocacy support
Most of our affiliate organisations provide advocacy support to families. This may include:
- providing information and guidance on the rights and entitlements of families led by one person
- supporting families during meetings with schools, organisations and agencies such as Work and Income, Housing New Zealand.
Contact your local Birthright to find out about their local community based advocacy support for children and families.
Advocacy at a national level
Birthright has been working with families led by one person for over 65 years and we will continue to raise awareness with government on the issues facing families led by one person.
Birthright New Zealand regularly takes the opportunity to comment on legislation and government policy reviews that impact on the children and families we work with or on our ability to deliver services to these families.
New Zealand has the third highest rate of single parent-led families in the OECD. Of those families, 86% are led by women.
Systemic barriers result in poor outcomes for too many children growing up in single parent families in New Zealand. Income, employment, housing, judicial processes, physical and mental wellbeing and education are just some of the areas where single parent families face systemic barriers that impact on their success.
- Approximately 30 percent of families in New Zealand are led by one person.
- New Zealand has one of the highest differences in child poverty rates for single parent households compared to two parent households in the OECD.
- A third of children would have lived in a single parent family by the age of 17 years.
- Children in one parent households are 6 times more likely to live in poverty than those in families with two or more adults.