Stuff has picked up on a report released by the OECD mid-week. I subscribe to OECD social statistics releases and scrolled through the report it but it is typically full of out-of-date information.
The writer of the piece fails to say her headline statistic is from 2007. But strangely does date recent information. But here's what gets me frustrated;
Birthright national manager John Donaghy said there were about 219,000 single-parent families in New Zealand, most of whom were middle-aged.
"Unfortunately there are many people who basically poke at the 18-year-old person on the DPB who is seen as a weight on the rest of society, but actually they're a minority."
In March, 46 per cent of single parents were aged 25 to 39, and 20 per cent were aged 18 to 24.
How many times do I have to point out that teenage parents age. They stay dependent and they stay single. Hence we find that there is a spread of single parents across all agebands. The fact remains that up to a half began life as a single parent, usually on the DPB, as a teenager. That is why I bang on, or "poke at" that particular group.
Birthright are apologists for a serious problem that won't be resolved as long as they fail to understand it. As a volunteer I once attended a meeting between a seriously inadequate teenage mother and one of their social workers. The social worker, a pleasant enough young woman, was going through the motions - counsel, make a next-visit appointment and bugger off - whereas I was getting stuck into the filthy surroundings, showing the mother how to look after herself and her once-was-perfectly-nice home. (Another battle I eventually lost even though I won the girls trust. The usual happened. Rent arrears piled up and she disappeared.)
I am sure Birthright serves some purpose but politically they are aggravating the problem they were born out of.
Samizdata quote of the day
15 minutes ago