Making a difference to children and families in financial stress

Click here to register for our webinar on Tuesday, 27 April to discuss the findings of this report. 

“All children should be able to live happy and fulfilling lives free from poverty. This research shows that this is far from a reality for many children in Australia.”
– Emma Sydenham, Director, Early Childhood, SVA

How prevalent is poverty and financial stress in Australian children and families? What has been the impact of Covid-19? And how much would it cost to address poverty and ensure all children grow up with the same opportunities?

To help answer these questions, the Brotherhood of St. Laurence and SVA commissioned the Centre for Social Research and Methods at the Australian National University to undertake research which models:


Australian trends in poverty, child poverty and financial stress for families relying on income support

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting income support changes on poverty and child poverty rates

The optimal level of income support required to reduce poverty and financial stress for families and children in the most cost-effective way


This research finds that inadequate social security payments play a significant role in shaping poverty and financial stress trends in Australia. It also finds that it is possible to address these challenges by increasing the overall social security budget.

“It’s critical that the government commits to sustained investment in the future of our children and families to prevent disadvantage in later life. Our children’s best interests should be at the heart of our policy responses which will also reduce government costs in decades to come,” said Emma Sydenham, Director of Early Childhood at SVA.