• Dispelling myths and misconceptions
    Dispelling myths and misconceptions

Myths about hardship

There are common misconceptions when it comes to children living in hardship.

There is a lack of understanding about families living in hardship, and because of this parents are sometimes blamed, believing they are spending money on the wrong things or that they take advantage of the welfare system and don’t have or seek employment.

This is often not the case. Here some of these common myths. 

Hand up, not a hand out 

By providing practical support such as food, clothing and health care, we are giving children the opportunity to make the most of their education and break the generational cycle of hardship. Education gives our future generations the chance at a better life and a chance to break the cycle of hardship for good.


We believe that the disadvantaged children we support deserve the opportunity at a fair start in life. They are the future generations of New Zealand and without our help they don’t have the same chance to reach their full potential in life. The parents we support are embarrassed they can’t provide for their children, and placing blame doesn’t solve the issue – we need to give everybody who needs it a hand up in New Zealand. 

Creating dependence

In our ten years of supporting disadvantaged children we have found no evidence that parents are taking advantage of KidsCan support. In fact, our experience working with schools, early childhood education centres and families tells us the majority of our parents are very good parents who are embarrassed that they can’t provide for their children but are thankful we are there in times of need. 

Life skills lost in generational hardship cycle 

We have seen important and varied life skills lost through generational hardship; from learning how to grow and cook nutritious food, to preparing financial budgets. Most of us take this education for granted. By ensuring all children engage in quality education we can help stop children in hardship becoming adults in hardship.

Parents aren’t working

There is often speculation that parents of children living in hardship aren’t in paid employment. However, the 2019 New Zealand Work Research Institute, AUT research found that 50,000 of them have a household income from adults in paid employment.