Council of Single Mothers and their Children

You can call our support line on 03 9654 0622
or outside Melbourne on 1300 552 511
Monday to Friday 9.30am – 3.00pm. 

To find out what assistance is available for Back to School expenses, visit our Back to School info page or call us.

If you have received a debt letter from Centrelink, download the National Welfare Rights factsheet or call us.

Council of Single Mothers and their Children (CSMC) envisions a society where single mother families are valued and treated equally fairly. We’ve got a long way to go.

“In single-parent families, four children in ten now live in poverty.
After 25 years of uninterrupted economic growth, we can do better than this!” David Morawetz, Poverty in Australia 2016

sm-stats-infographic-oct-2016-w-sourceThe recently released ACOSS Poverty in Australia 2016 report tells us what we already know: lone parents, 84% of whom are single mothers, have the highest prevalence of poverty of all family types, and the trend has increased over 10 years.

One third of lone parent families (33.6%) are living below the poverty line of 50% of the medium income.

40.6% of children in lone parent families are in poverty (compared with 12.5% of children in couple households).

This leads to the truly pertinent questions: Why? & What can we do to reduce the structural disadvantage that single mothers face?

We know the triggers of poverty are the inadequate level of government benefits; lack of employment options that fit within single mothers’ responsibilities; unaffordable or inaccessible childcare and after school care; overpriced and unsuitable private rental property reliance; ongoing stigmatisation.

“Of all welfare recipients, single mums are the most highly motivated to do paid work and provide as best they can for their children.” CSMC member

So – what are the solution? We’re working on that…

Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) Poverty in Australia 2016, October 2016