Chapter

Helping out at home: children's contributions to sustaining work and care in lone-mother families

Tess Ridge

in Cash and care

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9781861348562
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301615 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861348562.003.0015
Helping out at home: children's contributions to sustaining work and care in lone-mother families

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This chapter presents an important dimension to our understanding of unpaid care, by focusing on the role of children as active caring agents within their families. Children's accounts of their contributions to family life reveal their involvement in a complex range of care and support within their families, including childcare, domestic labour, financial assistance, and emotional sustenance. The issue of children's perceptions and experiences of maternal employment is an important one, especially for children in lone-mother households. Far from being passive and needy family members, these children are actively participating in constructing and reconstructing family life under very particular social and financial circumstances. These are low-income children who have experienced periods of poverty and exclusion.

Keywords: unpaid care; informal care; informal carers; poor children

Chapter.  5160 words. 

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