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The complexities of 'relationship' in the welfare system and the consequences for children Susan St John, Catriona MacLennan, Hannah Anderson and Rebeca Fountain

By: St John, Susan.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Auckland, N. Z. : Child Poverty Action Group, 2014Description: electronic document (48 pages); PDF file: 566.50 KB.ISBN: 978-0-9941105-7-2.Subject(s): CHILD WELFARE | SOCIAL SERVICES | NEW ZEALAND | LAWOnline resources: Click here to access online Summary: "Despite the recent focus on ‘vulnerable children’ in New Zealand, many current policies themselves have had harmful effects on the already most disadvantaged children. In particular, under the guise of ‘welfare reform’, punitive policies have been implemented without considering the impact on the children in the most precarious of low income families. CPAG has been particularly dismayed by the use of sanctions that reduce benefits when there are children (Wynd 2013; Wynd 2014). This report, however, focuses on a more systemic issue: the traditional reliance on using the presence or absence of a relationship in the nature of marriage to determine entitlement in the welfare system. Ambiguities and anomalies posed by the use of relationship status arise differently in different parts of New Zealand’s social policies and practices. Overall, the report finds not just that there are worrying impacts on children in cases where ‘relationship fraud’ is alleged, but that the treatment of marital status more generally is inconsistent and iniquitous. It has been a contributing factor to increased income poverty, and to gender inequality. " (from the Preface).
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"Despite the recent focus on ‘vulnerable children’ in New Zealand, many current policies themselves have had harmful effects on the already most disadvantaged children. In particular, under the guise of ‘welfare reform’, punitive policies have been implemented without considering the impact on the children in the most precarious of low income families. CPAG has been particularly dismayed by the use of sanctions that reduce benefits when there are children (Wynd 2013; Wynd 2014). This report, however, focuses on
a more systemic issue: the traditional reliance on using the presence or absence of a relationship in the nature of marriage to determine entitlement in the welfare system. Ambiguities and anomalies posed by the use of relationship status arise differently in different parts of New Zealand’s social policies and practices. Overall, the report finds not just that there are worrying impacts on children in cases where ‘relationship fraud’ is alleged, but that the treatment of marital status more generally is inconsistent and iniquitous. It has been a contributing factor to increased
income poverty, and to gender inequality. " (from the Preface).