As many as half of underprivileged elementary and junior-high school pupils feel responsible for helping out with family finances, according to a survey that offers some insight into the lives of “little adults.”
The Taiwan Fund for Children and Families said on Wednesday that its survey of 512 of its support recipients found that 27 percent of the respondents helped their parents by contributing to the household income.
The fund said that the disadvantaged families it helps have an average per capita disposable income of NT$5,301 (US$176) each month — less than a quarter of the nationwide average of NT$23,863 and only about half of the average disposable income of Taiwan’s poorest 20 percent, according to figures from 2012.
Children in such families often give more than just financial support, according to the fund.
Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they regularly offered emotional support to calm down family members, while 68 percent said they listened to their relatives when they expressed concern or worry, the survey found.
For 51 percent of respondents, the pressure of facing those challenges created a lot of stress, the survey said.
The Taiwan Fund for Children and Families aims to raise NT$100 million by the end of this year to assist people in need and asked for public donations to help meet its goal.
The charity’s survey was conducted between Nov. 15 and Dec. 13 last year and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.92 percentage points.