Chantelle Campbell: A solo parent bravely speaks out about the difficulties facing single parents

Interviewed by

Lisa Er

Chantelle Campbell: A solo parent bravely speaks out about the difficulties facing single parents

We rarely hear from single parents about their struggle, and that may well be because of the stigma attached to being solo or being a beneficiary. However there are single parents from all walks of life doing their best to raise children sometimes against incredible odds.

There are many myths about solo parents on the ’benefit’. These myths are perceptions that arise from stereotypes generated in public and private conversations.

“Myths often appear highly plausible, and they may even hold a grain of truth. But they far from represent reality and can cause lasting harm.

"They allow the government and its welfare policies to be shielded from proper scrutiny and help explain why there is little public outcry as the safety net supporting many families and their children is progressively eroded.”
Child Poverty Action Group 2013

Myths such as ‘the benefit’ is a lifestyle choice, or sole parents are teenagers who can’t be bothered working, are very damaging.

In fact the majority of sole parents are between the ages of 25 and 64, and have had jobs, but need to be at home with their children for varying reasons. Just over 12% of sole parents are men.

In 2013 there were 234,000 children growing up in families on benefits and it is estimated that in New Zealand that one in two mothers will have spent some time on the ‘benefit’ by the time they are 50.

Read more myths and facts at the link above.

In 2017 the Labour Government announced a Families Package which has helped beneficiaries a great deal but unless we change the attitude of people generally, there will always be resistance against an empathetic government.

Housing is a huge issue for solo parents as Chantelle describes in the interview. Constantly having to move house puts families under stress and if children are constantly having to move schools, it disadvantages their education.

Chantelle Campbell grew up in West Auckland, where she still resides with her two sons. Chantelle has been raising her sons as a sole parent and has gained a Bachelor of Social Practice while her boys were younger, and now practices in the community as a social worker and community developer.

Chantelle is passionate about human rights, social justice and easing the challenges that sole parent families face.

This has led Chantelle to founding, “Inspire Up Trust”, a charitable trust to support sole parents families to reach their full potential.

The e-mail for the trust is inspireuptrust[at]xtra.co.nz

Financial support is required to get a web site up and running for the trust. Please e-mail if you can contribute.

The two Facebook pages mentioned in the interview are “NZ Single Parents” and “Separation and Sole Parent Support”. 

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Lisa Er

Lisa Er

Born in the UK Lisa emigrated with her parents to New Zealand at the age of 16. Already politically active Lisa has continued to have a passionate interest in peace, politics, and the philosophy behind what we do.

A primary school teacher for 14 years, Lisa then turned her hand to business and created the well known Lisa's Hummus, which she sold a few years ago. Now Lisa is immersed in creating a better political system via www.theawarenessparty.com

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