Child welfare group says mothers under stress, need help

RECOMMENDATIONS::The group said families should provide more support to mothers, and government subsidies should be overhauled

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, May 08, 2013 - Page 3

A recent survey by the Child Welfare League Foundation found that mothers with young children are not happy with their performance as parents and feel economic pressures are a major challenge in raising children.

The survey of 1,312 mothers with children under the age of three showed that the women gave themselves an average grade of 73.95 out of 100, with 18.9 percent saying they were not capable of caring for their child and handling housework at the same time.

A majority of respondents (62.3 percent) said they faced pressures in raising their children, including 10.6 percent who said they are under extremely high pressure.

Answering a multiple-choice questionnaire, 65.5 percent of respondents named economic issues as a major challenge, 53.3 percent found it difficult to get rid of stress and exhaustion, 39.3 percent said they could not do their work and take care of children at the same time and 20 percent said that the role of motherhood was beyond their abilities.

The foundation urged family members to give mothers more support, such as giving mothers at least a day off a month by offering to look after their children.

It also suggested that the government provide more facilities for parents and children and a more helpful subsidy scheme, since 45.2 percent of respondents said that they were unaware of any childcare subsidies.

Only 29.8 percent of respondents received childcare subsidies for unemployed parents, 22.1 percent were on subsidies for those on unpaid parental leave and 16.1 percent received subsidies for hiring a nanny, the survey found.

Although the government has appropriated NT$7.4 billion (US$248.78 million) for such subsidies this year, the foundation said the support system should be changed to universal childcare support so most families can be covered. Different subsidies could also be offered depending on a family’s needs, it said.

The survey was conducted between March 15 and April 15.