성인기와 달리 아동기의 가난한 상태는 대물림될 가능성이 높다는 데 문제가 있다. 이에 더하여, 농촌지역 저소득가정의 아동문제는 단순 소득 문제에 그치지 않고 도시지역에서 볼 수 없는 다양한 문제들과 결합되어 나타난다. 따라서 이들은 도시지역에 비해 열악한 사회경제적 환경 요인 등으로 복지 사각지대에 놓일 가능성이 크며 가난의 대물림, 교육격차 등의 심화문제도 발생할 수 있다.
이 연구는 이러한 문제점의 인식으로부터 출발하였다. 따라서 농촌지역 저소득가구 아동 실태와 저소득에 주요하게 영향을 미치는 요인, 저소득이 파생하는 문제를 분석하고 현재의 정책 현황을 비교하여 정책에서 포괄하고 있지 못하는 부분을 개선할 수 있는 정책과제를 제시하는 데 연구 목적이 있다.
Amid the trend of income polarization and poverty, there has been an increase in the number of undernourished children, neglected children at home, crisis of family breakup, and maladjusted children. The biggest problem with this phenomenon is that unlike the temporary poverty experienced in adulthood, the poor state of childhood is likely to be passed down.
Childhood intervention is of paramount importance in resolving problems derived from low incomes. The government has established and implemented various policies to protect children from low-income households. However, although low-income problems especially abound in rural areas central government policies do not consider regional differentiation.
Rural low-income households do not only end with low income. Their trouble generally compound with a variety of problems not found in urban areas. In particular, children are often neglected or exposed to poor services due to a lack of infrastructure related to the education and welfare of children. Also, as the problem of multi-cultural families in rural areas is increasing recently, it appears as a complex issue that has not existed before as it is combined with the low income problem. Finally, there are many poor families going through similar troubles in rural areas, and children in these families are often left in blind spots of welfare policy.
This study identifies related welfare status of low-income children’s households in rural areas, analyzes the major factors affecting low-income, and the problems that low-income derives. Based on the analysis results and policy analysis, this paper suggests policy tasks that can improve the parts that are not covered by government policies.
This study defines low-income households as households with a minimum living cost of less than 150% or median 60% of equalized ordinary income before public assistance.
Children subject to this study are limited to children aged 7 to 12 years old. The definition of child welfare is defined by the economic, social and emotional support that public institutions (government and local governments) need for children to grow, following Friendlander & Apta (1980), Korean Social Welfare Dictionary and Article 3, paragraph 2 of the Child Welfare Act. The study was conducted through prior study review, statistical data analysis, and interviews with stakeholders.
The limitations of policies for low-income household children in rural areas are as follows: fragmented policy implementation, insufficient customized policy planning, lack of consideration of rural characteristics, the setting of the support scope, and problems of households excluded from the scope.
The followings are policy tasks to alleviate the limitations. First of all, it is necessary at the central or local municipal level to review the composition of a committee that can serve as a control tower to coordinate, link and integrate the fragmented implementation of policy support related to current low-income households. At this time, support policies for children, employment training for parents (or single-parent households), and employment placement should be implemented in conjunction with each other. Also, it is necessary to establish an income security policy more effectively for children raised by their grandparents.
Second, a policy that reflects rural characteristics is necessary for the policy for low-income children in rural areas. Especially in the case of regional investment service projects, the overlap of the distribution of users and providers mainly happens in metropolitan cities and large cities. It will be a good idea to consider how to connect local investment service projects with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 365 living zone construction projects, especially in rural areas where children-related services are vulnerable.
Third, there is a need to improve the educational environment for children of low-income households in rural areas. Parents (guardians) listed spending on education as the most challenging aspect of their children’s education. It is necessary to set educational benefits in line with actual expenditures (minimum educational expenses) and to expand educational benefits in the future based on the size and budget of households in the median income of 60% to 50%. Also, concerning service provision, it is necessary to lay the foundation for the formation of an educational community.
Finally, policies should be designed in line with the characteristics of policy targets. Namely, policies should be devised to meet the different policy needs of low-income household children living in yeup and myeon and children of low-income households with multicultural /single parents.
Researchers: Eom Jinyoung, Ahn Seok, Kim Yunjin
Research period: 2019. 1. ~ 2019. 10.
E-mail address: email@example.com
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