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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 6, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Lea Caragata

What Works? The Well-Being of Children and Youth in Poor Lone Mother-Led Families

Lea Caragata

published: 2008 | Research publication | Research Report

In an environment characterized by an increasingly precarious labour market and a retracting social safety net, this paper explores “what works” in ameliorating the impoverished circumstances in which the children and youth of low-income lone mother-led families are being raised. In Canada, the US, the UK and most of western Europe this has been an area of research focus as the lone mother-led family is an increasingly common family form that is more vulnerable to poverty than are two-income households. The policy circumstances in the US and the UK have most in common with Canada as welfare state provisions in these three countries are more limited, with Canada occupying a middle ground position between the US and the United Kingdom. Studies explore such issues as child care, nutrition, after school programs and health promotion as factors affecting the well-being of children in these families (Goyette-Ewing, 2000; Mason, 2003; Robinson et al., 2005; McIntyre et al, 2007). Our own research (Dunn and Caragata, 2007; Caragata and Alcalde, 2008, Caragata, 2008b) further suggests that the availability of supports to aid in the transition to adulthood would be important to these families. Thus, this paper reviews an extensive literature to determine what the available research suggests in terms of effectively supporting the children and youth in lone mother-led families. 

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revised Nov 4/11

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