The Response of the State to the Needs of Ssingle-Parent Families in Greece

Introduction: The formation and shaping of various patterns and forms of family arising as a consequence of the breakdown of the family unit consisting of two parents, result in the existence of single-parent families, cohabitation or consensual unions and the appearance of changes both in gender roles and in family values. Objective: The objective of this study was to outline the phenomenon of single-parent families (SPF) with dependent children [Children who have not passed a certain age (18-24 when studying, not working and unmarried) and one parent has custody] in Greece and the investigation of the State response to the needs of these families in the context of social policy. Material - Method: The sample of the study consisted of 206 single parents who had dependent children, were Greek and lived in the large urban centres of Athens- Thessaloniki and in the provinces. Dependent children are considered unmarried children aged 18 to 24 years old, if they are students and do not work. The survey was conducted in the period from January 2010 to May 2010. For the collection of data a specific anonymous questionnaire consisting of 30 closed questions was developed. The response rate was 68.6%. The statistical analysis was performed with the statistical package SPSS, version 16.00 (SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL). All the tests were two-sided. The value p-value<0.05 was appointed as the level of statistically significant difference, while the marginal statistically significant differences (0.05<p<0.1) were also recorded. Results: The majority of the sample were female leaders of single-parent families (87.7%). The male leaders of single-parent families were 12.1% and the average age of the participants was 44 years. The largest percentage of the questioned leaders of single-parent families were from the urban centres of Athens-Thessaloniki (52.5%). The statistical analysis of the data showed that the response of the state to singleparent families for: • financial support (provision of benefits) was 37.2%, • housing of single-parent families was 12.5%, • employment 16.7%, • education 20%. The highest percentage of the single-parent leaders were secondary education graduates (49%) and the average total annual amount of money received by single-parent families from benefits was 2130€. Conclusions: The response of the State to the needs of single-parent families is insufficient, which results in single-parent families in Greece experiencing low living standards and becoming a fragile social group. The inefficient response of the State affects the personal, family and social life of single-parent families, their employment opportunities and shapes the quality of living standards.

Category: Volume 52, N 1
Hits: 23 Hits
Created Date: 15-03-2013
Authors: D. F. Antonopoulou