The Costs of Children

The Costs of Children

Parenting and Democracy in Contemporary Europe

Edited by David G. Mayes and Mark Thomson

The expert contributors provide an assessment of how countries can handle the fair allocation of the costs of childcare. They look at the experience within Europe in recent years and show in particular how these interrelate with the objectives of improving income, employment and social inclusion. The book’s conclusion reveals that choice is the key ingredient as families have different views and different degrees of support available from their relatives. Income and social inclusion can provide choice but ironically employment does not always. An employment-based model can sometimes narrow people’s choices, particularly for people on low wages. The major concern is that most existing systems effectively discriminate against mothers.

Chapter 11: Costs and consequences for carers of vulnerable children in Australia

Edited by David G. Mayes and Mark Thomson

Subjects: development studies, family and gender policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, family and gender policy


In Australia, children and young people at risk of significant harm who can no longer live at home with their birth family may be placed in formal (statutory) or informal (non-statutory) care. Formal carers are predominantly foster carers (non-related to the child) or kinship/relative carers (related to the child). Informal carers are usually grandparent carers. Fuller definitions of formal/informal carers are as follows: • Formal (statutory) carers are carers who are raising children as a result of care and protection orders from the Children’s Court, Youth Court or Magistrate’s Court (depending on the State or Territory the child or young person resides in). In general, statutory or formal carers may be ‘stranger’ (i.e. non-related) foster carers, relative or kinship carers. Some, but not all statutory kinship carers, may be assessed foster carers and may provide foster care to other children (non-related). Some assessed foster carers may be relatives of the child.

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