National Indicators > Impact on Families

Impact on Employment

The complexity of a child’s special needs and the parents’ need to devote time to the child’s care sometimes requires that parents cut back on the number of hours they work or stop working completely to care for their child. Overall, the parents of nearly 24 percent of CSHCN report having to stop work or cut back on their hours at work, or both, because of their children’s needs.

Of course, giving up a job is likely to reduce a family’s income. Therefore, it is not surprising that children in lower-income families are more likely to have parents who have sacrificed work hours: one-third of CSHCN in poverty and 29 percent of those with family incomes between 100 and 199 percent of poverty have parents who reported that they cut back on work or stopped working to care for their children, compared to 17 percent of children with family incomes of 400 percent of poverty or more.

A change in employment status is also more apt to occur in families who have a child who is more severely affected by his or her condition. The parents of 47 percent of children whose activities are affected usually, always, or a great deal by their conditions report cutting back on work or stopping work completely to care for their children, compared to 9.1 percent of children whose daily activities are never affected by their conditions.

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