Have you ever seen in the street a parcel drunk mommy dearest, trying to educate her numerous children with cursing? No? Consider yourself lucky, because similar pictures are not rare nowadays. Such situations force to try harder in seeking solutions of the problem of unfortunate families. It is difficult to follow all families, which have a new child every second year, because control visits of state social workers are carried out selectively.

However, even those incomplete figures, provided by the Ministry of social policy, can be considered the 'record-breaking' ones.  "The Singe state registry of beneficiaries includes 227 900 large families. Within nine months of this year, social services included more than 103 230 unfortunate families, and such families have the total of 211 595 children," the Ministry of social policy reports. In the law of Ukraine "On social services", the notion "complicated life circumstances" includes not only disability, age, health conditions and social standing, but also living habits and lifestyle, due to which a person loses partially or completely the ability to take care about himself and his family. Thus, alcohol abuse by parents can also be considered complicated life circumstances.

It has made ForUm wonder why there are so many unfortunate families in Ukraine. What do these families count on when making 4-5 children? Should we blame the government or, in this case, would it be proper to pay attention to social irresponsibility of certain Ukrainians?

Easy money?

As of today, the government does a lot to provide young parents with financial support. Prices for children goods do bite, but we are all adults and we understand that a baby does not get born in a day or two, thus there is plenty of time to plan the family budget. Moreover, every Ukrainian family gets onetime birth grant - 9300 hryvnias immediately plus monthly payments for the next two years.

No doubt, this is a positive case in the social policy of the country, but unfortunately, certain citizens believe the state owes to them for their attempts "to save the demographic situation in the country." "I procreate children...Thus, what are these questions that I don't bring them up properly?" a mother with two small children and a bottle of beer in the hand says. In fact, even two children in a family do not change much the demographic situation. According to the data of the state statistics service, for the first half of this year, the mortality rate exceeded the birth rate. In total, the natural rundown of Ukrainians made 91 908 people.

Thus, after such statements of young mothers of many children, who do not have a proper place to live in, the questions arise: what was she thinking about when giving birth to her not the first child and knowing she cannot provide him with bare essentials? What are the living conditions of these children? Where does the maternity grant money go? What these children will become in the future? Following the reasoning of such parents, it turns out that the birth of a child is a way to earn some money - delivered a baby, got some money, spent the money, delivered another baby...Meanwhile, children are left to their own.

The Ministry of social policy admits that similar cases are not rare in our society. There is a certain control system over proper use of maternity grants, but this control is carried out selectively. In most cases, social workers learn about unfortunate families from caring friends or neighbors.

In similar cases, the question about future of these children and their chances for good education becomes rhetorical. Unfortunately, those who are tempted by 111 600 hyrvnias for the third and every next child do not really think about the future. 

I wish I may...

The very paradox of this situation is that unlike unfortunate families, couples with both working parents do not dare to have even the second child, not speaking about the third or fourth. "We were in two with my sister, and I understand this is right. However, my husband and I, we do not dare to have the second child due various reasons. First of all, our apartment is small. Secondly, the expenses for the first child are substantial, starting with clothes and finishing with various classes. Besides, we want to give out child a good education, which is not cheap in our country," the mom of the five-year-old Vicky says. According to the statistics, the majority of responsible parents share the argument. The figures of the state statistics service on living conditions of households show that 76%of families have only one child, 21.2% - two children, 2.4% - three children and only 0.4% - four children and more.

Obviously, every family has a right to decide how many children to have, but at the same time, it must measure properly the resources and possibilities to raise decent members of the society.

Like father, like son...

Moral principles, taught in the childhood, define the actions of a grown-up. Parents form behavior sample. Children from unfortunate families, limited in possibilities and welfare, can become aggressive and, consequently, can make wrong choices. "They don't see other but drinking and hanging out. They don't see their parents working, cleaning, cooking, reading... The lifestyle of parents defines the deeds of the next generation," psychologist Svitlana Bazherina says.

Interior Ministry's reports prove the fact. In 2010 the number of crimes committed by teens made 17 342. The youngest offenders numbered almost 14 thousand. This year, according to the chief public relations officer of the Interior Ministry Volodymyr Polishchuk, the number of crimes committed by minors has decreased by 11.1%. The official notes that the nature of crimes committed by teens has also changed. "The most common crimes committed by minors are thefts, which make 67% of the total number," Volodymyr Polishchuk specified.

Systematization may help

Due to the fact that state workers cannot control every family, the authorities must develop an alternative roadmap regarding maternity grants. In order not to 'blush' because of child criminality Ukraine needs to systemize the process. Why don't they put a part of the money to an account for a child to cash it after full legal age and use it for education, for example? There are many options, the authorities just need to sit down and consider them. Meanwhile, Ukrainians should learn to live not only by the law, but by conscience as well.


From October 1, 2012 the maternity grants make:

- UAH 27 900 for the first child - UAH 9300 immediately and the reset by equal parts within the next 24 months;

- UAH 55 800 for the second child - UAH 9300 immediately and the reset by equal parts within the next 48 months;

- UAH 111 600 for the third and every next child - UAH 9300 immediately and the reset by equal parts within the next 72 months.

With the increase of the living wage in 2013, the amount of the maternity grant will increase respectively.

Tetyana Matsur


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