Universally in societies today, poverty is an ongoing issue that shakes many different aspects within our communities. Poverty is best understood as a function of social, economic and political structures and processes which create and perpetuate an unequal distribution of resources both within and in global context between societies (Lister, 2004). Throughout this essay I will be focussing my attention on jobless families in Australia and research the reasoning behind why this group in particular is suffering from poverty and the way this is affecting the people who are deemed to fit this category. Jobless families is referred as families that have children under the age of 16 who have not reported income from employment in the previous 12 months (Benevolent, 2013 p1). Some of the areas I will focus my attention on are the experiences that jobless families have to deal with and the impacts of disadvantage that this may have on them leading what we deem to be a sustainable life. I will also be touching on explaining the differences between poverty and inequality and how it has been portrayed and viewed by theorists who have examined this topic thoroughly and tried to work out what crucial factors play a role in determining poverty amongst select groups but in particular jobless families. Furthermore throughout this essay I will also be touching on the policies that the Australian government are putting in to place to help try and solve or well at least reduce the ongoing crisis and disadvantage that is affecting a broad number of Australians who are deemed to be in poverty today. All of these factors mentioned above contributed to why jobless families are a greater risk of poverty in Australia. Hopefully with a change in Government and new policies the ongoing problem of poverty will reduce its statistics from what they previously were under the Labour government.
Disadvantage people lack in material sources such as money, housing, transport, skills knowledge or education, health and social capital whether it be social participation or inclusion. An example of a disadvantaged group in Australia is jobless families. Jobless families are seen as socially excluded from society because they may not put themselves in that situation however, they are unfortunately limited by the choices or outcomes that their lives place upon them (Hayes, Gray & Edwards, 2008). Some of the reasoning why jobless families occur and the factors than inhibit them from being deemed not in poverty can be due to a member may have a disability, health problems both mentally and physically, poor education, low literacy and numeracy skills, children who suffer from health or behavioural problems, domestic violence, housing instability or homelessness, lack of affordable day care, lack of affordable transport to education or to employment, work places that do not comply to school hours and lack of computer access (Benevolent, 2013 p1). Through extended studies, statistics show us that if family joblessness persists over a period of time it is a particular concern, not only because of the impact of the adults but because of the negative impact on children due to poverty. These negative effects take form of higher rates of poor mental health, social capital and child wellbeing and their developmental outcomes. Information gathered by the Australian Institute of Family Studies showed children that are living in a jobless family had poorer cognitive and social–emotional outcomes compared to children in families working full-time/long part-time hours. The studies also showed jobless families had the lowest levels of social capital, while families working full-time/long part-time hours had the highest. Furthermore the in depth study went on to mention about how it effects mental health by saying there was a strong association between parents employment and their mental health.