64 pct of single parents worry about their kids: survey

2023-05-16 03:16     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:0

A survey conducted by the Women’s General Association of Macau (commonly known as Fu Luen in Cantonese) shows that nearly 64 percent of the 277 single-parent respondents “worried” that their children would have low self-worth growing up in a lone-parent family, causing a lack of confidence, in addition to their worries about their children’s social skills and their lack of social interaction with their children due to work.

According to the findings, more than half of the respondents pointed out that their ex-spouses have failed to fulfil their parental care responsibilities, with about 60 percent of the respondents saying their ex-spouse does not even see their children once a week. Around 40 percent said they needed to spend six or more hours a day taking care of their children.

The survey targeting single-parent families who have and are caring for children under the age of 18 was conducted through an online questionnaire last month about their views on the current situation of lone-parent families in Macau.

The results of the survey were announced by four representatives of the Women’s General Association of Macau, Association for the Joint Effort of Building a Good Home (ACCBL) and Macau Family Mediation Association yesterday during a press conference at Fu Luen headquarters on Rua do Campo.

The findings show that nearly 80 percent of the respondents cited financial pressure as the “biggest” difficulty for single-parent families, with more than 75 percent having grassroots jobs, such as clerks, salespeople and waiters who said that their current monthly income, ranging between 5,000 patacas and 15,000 patacas, was “not enough” to cover their living or household expenses.

The respondents’ family income mainly comes from their full-time or part-time jobs, with part of the income from the government’s financial support and alimony payments by their ex-spouses, according to the findings.

However, the statement pointed out, some respondents said that since their children are not attending school, they are unable to apply for the government’s financial support, which aims to ease the living pressure of single-parent families, with a number of the respondents also saying that their ex-spouse has failed to pay or delayed paying them the court-ordered alimony.

Due to the fact that many respondents indicated that they face difficulties in their personal development and career planning as a result of their former spouse’s failure to take on sufficient parental responsibilities and their need of juggling time between work and childcare, the associations’ representatives urged the government during the press conference to “speed up” the drafting of a legal system for family mediation, while also strengthening its social support for single-parent families. 

Four representatives of the Women’s General Association of Macau (commonly known as Fu Luen in Cantonese), Association for the Joint Effort of Building a Good Home (ACCBL) and Macau Family Mediation Association, including lawmaker Wong Kit Cheng (second from right), a vice-president of Fu Luen, pose during yesterday’s press conference at Fu Luen’s headquarters on Rua do Campo. – Photo courtesy of TDM

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