We are pleased to announce the release of the SMA Listening & Demographic Survey Results 2023 report. The report is a summary of the responses received from 51 members across the province in 17 diverse locations, providing a snapshot of the needs and wishes of our diverse membership of lone-mother and caregivers and determining our priorities for 2023 with their input.
We would like to express our gratitude to all the Single Mothers' Alliance members who took the time to share their experiences, stories, thoughts and input to impact the shape and scope of our work this year through the 2023 Listening and Demographic Survey, as well as through our various projects and initiatives.
To read the full report please click here.
About the Listening Campaign 2023
What is impacting our members the most right now?
The survey included demographic questions and open-ended and drop-down questions on issues impacting members at this time. We are proud to have heard from such a large and diverse group of members who shared their thoughts and experiences with us. The report highlights the top five issues impacting our members, which are the rising cost of living, income challenges, food insecurity, lack of affordable housing, and challenges accessing the family law system. Beyond these top five, there were other important issues that were also identified, such as addiction and mental health, family violence, COVID-19, lack of affordable child care, and lack of affordable transit.
What would make the most difference right now?
Our listening campaign also sought to discover what would make the most difference in our members' lives right now. The responses we received focused primarily on the ability to access stable and affordable housing, lower rents, an increase to government-supported incomes such as income and disability assistance, the ability to access quality and sustainable full-time and part-time jobs, and decent wages that afford a quality standard of life. Financial support to access BC's family law system was also identified as a key theme across the responses. We also received suggestions for more opportunities to increase social connectedness and community belonging.
What is impacting our members the most personally right now?
In addition to identifying the top issues impacting our members, we also sought to understand what is impacting everyone on a social-emotional and personal level. Our analysis of the open-ended responses identified three primary trends: the stressors of raising special needs children, significant mental health challenges for both parents and their children and youth, and the ongoing impact of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) on the mental health of mothers and families. Based on this input, we will focus on mental health and parenting support in our programmatic development.
Our four focus areas for 2023
Based on the results we have developed four focus areas for 2023:
Priced Out! Priced Out addresses the rising cost of living and its impact on BC families impacted by poverty. Priced Out will address solutions to rising costs and inflated food prices, lack of affordable and accessible child care and after school care, and access to dental care, transit, medication, vision care and counselling for families experiencing poverty in BC.
Income Justice. Our Income Justice focus area responds to member input on work, wages, quality jobs and job opportunities. This focus area will address solutions to low and unlivable wages, inadequate income and disability assistance rates, lack of access to higher paying work and quality, sustainable part time and full-time jobs with benefits for families impacted by socio-economic inequality. We will also address the need for pay equity legislation and tackle the entrenchment of marginalized parent and caregiver workers including trans and gender diverse parents, mothers, racialized parents and other equity-seeking parent-workers in sectors defined by low-waged and precarious labour.
A Roof Over Our Heads. A Roof Over Our Heads tackles the housing crisis in BC for low-income families with a focus on justice for renters and the right to move. A Roof Over Our Heads aims to ensure all families in BC can access appropriate, safe and affordable homes within which to grow and thrive.
Safe, Heard, Protected: A Vision for Family Law. Safe, Heard, Protected addresses both the necessity of a family law system that is financially accessible for low-income parents and caregivers in BC and one that works to ensure those impacted by Intimate Partner Violence and Gender Based Violence are safe, heard and protected in and by every facet of the system.
Thanks again to all the members who took the time to complete the survey and share their thoughts with us. We look forward to working with all of you through 2023 to make life better for our families in BC. We will release engagement opportunities related to our focus areas soon!