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Don''t Let Poverty Drag Him Down-Children Poverty and Anti-Poverty International Exchange Forum

  • PostDate:2005-02-24 00:00

The Children’s Bureau, Ministry of the Interior will be holding a “Children in Poverty and Anti-Poverty Program International Exchange Forum” in the next two days (23rd and 24th) at Room 202 International Conference Room National Taiwan Normal University. This Forum is hosted by the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, inviting 150 local and international experts involving in children and youth welfare and social workers from local governments and NGOs.

According to local and overseas research literature, the effects of poverty prevail not only on deficiency of material criteria; if poverty causes deprivation of education and lack of participation in the social system during a child's developmental period, his/her future development in both physical and psychological dimensions will also be hindered. This may result in delayed emotional, mental, and physical developments, lack in confidence, sense of security, and autonomy, and withdrawal, pessimistic personality, and inability of self-control. What worries the society is that the results of these negative developments may be passed down to the next generations and form a vicious cycle. Moreover, other literature also indicated that families in property have higher pressure (including worker, life, and marriage), which may bring about higher chances of child/youth neglect. Also, due to the limitation of economic criteria, parents of low-income families are often forced to provide their children inadequate physical care; thus; poverty and abuse/neglect are linked in a close and inseparable relationship.

In view of which, in recent years, advanced social welfare countries like England and the U.S. have been implementing many programs targeting economically underprivileged families, in attempts to eliminate the negative effects of poverty influencing the quality of the population and quality of life. In this forum, many experts are invited to share the experiences including Professor Jiang Yu-Long-director of the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Development Services, Dr. Timothy Mahoney- Director of Anti-poverty, U.S. Care International, Mr. Daniel Wordsworth-Director of Program Development, U.S. Christian Children's Fund, Dr. Mary Moran-Senior Commissioner, Department of Children Development, Ms Wu Shui-Li-Executive CEO, Hong Kong Christian Service Center, and Mr. Anselmo B. Mereado from Xavier University of the Philippines. These experts will talk about asset accumulation and solutions from an in-depth angle and proposed strategies to tackle poverty. Furthermore, the host has also invited Mr. Daniel Wordsworth, Director of International Programs, U.S. Christian Children's Fund and Dr. Mary Moran, Senior Commissioner of the Department of Children Development to share England and U.S. experiences in Head-Start projects. In addition, many local social welfare scholoars have also been invited for an in-depth discussion; these scholars include Guan You-Huan, Zhang Shi-Xing, Xie Xiu-Feng, Zeng hua-Yuan, Zheng li-Zhen, and Feng Yen.

Currently, the government has had many assistance programs targeting children in poverty. In addition to life assistance, medical subsidies, and childcare subsidies for children of low-income families implemented based on the Social Assistance Law, local governments have also implemented an array of life assistance programs. In view of the increasingly serious problem of children in poverty, the Ministry of the Interior continues to implement anti-poverty programs in these few years. These programs include Children Education Vouchers, Mid/Low Income Family Childcare Subsidies, Low-Income Families And Children Medical Supplement Program, Medical Supplement Program for Children Under Three Years of Age, Early-Stage Medical/Education Subsidy Program for Children of Delayed Deployment, Unemployed Families Short-Term Childcare Service Program, Foreign Spouse and Underprivileged Families Children Preschool Head-start Service Program, Foreign and Mainland Spouse Families Children Outreach Service Program, Families in Crisis, Single-Parent, Cross- Generation Parenting, and Aboriginal Families Children Outreach Program, and High-Risk Family Care Counseling And Treatment Program. Through various service strategies, the Ministry of the Interior aims to assist Children and Youth of poor families to keep these children on track of smooth growth and development.

In recent years, many countries like England and the U.S. implemented the Empowerment and Capabilities Building methods to assist low-income families and their members to develop capabilities of self provision, through which the societies achieve the goals of anti-property through capability upgrading. It is expected that this Forum will expand the vision of the government and NGOs and enable them to become familiarized with the needs of poor children in the changing society. With which, the government and NGOs will be able to reevaluate strategies adopted when providing professional services of various dimensions. It is also anticipated that a new direction of underprivileged family Service can be developed from needs-exploration and experience-sharing in this Forum.