Children assisted by Barcelona charity three times more likely to suffer psychoemotional distress
9 in 10 aided families live in severe poverty and 60% lack decent housing
60% of the children assisted by Catholic non-profit Càritas Barcelona experience psychoemotional suffering, three times the average of the metropolitan area's child population, a study published by the organization on Wednesday reveals.
606 parents and 464 children were surveyed for the report, which also shows that 89% of families live in severe poverty and 60% do not have decent housing. More than a quarter resides in shared flats, 11% in housing provided by an institution or by Càritas, and 8% rent without a contract.
"Children from vulnerable families suffer and dream of their parents finding a job and a decent home," said Càritas Barcelona’s head of social analysis and advocacy, Míriam Feu.
According to Feu, economic poverty and job insecurity double the chances of children being at risk of social exclusion when they become adults.
"What makes parents suffer the most is when they cannot give their kids what they want because they don’t have any money," said Càritas Barcelona’s director, Salvador Busquets.
Most households with children that receive assistance from Càritas Barcelona live below the social exclusion threshold, half of the parents surveyed work, but a significant part (39%) are unemployed.
"Despite the fact that 91% of the assisted households have some type of income, it doesn't exceed €850 and 83% do not have enough money to cover all expenses," said Feu.
70% of the parents surveyed said they cannot sleep due to stress and 33% of children stated they are not in a good mood, 20% do not feel happy at home and 18% described feeling "sad" about the situation at home.
Càritas suggests this issue could be solved by giving parents a universal benefit payment per child to cover basic needs such as housing, food, and extracurricular activities.
"It is very important that there is economic stability in the family so that the children can develop normally," said Feu.