Red Cross is committed to supporting stronger communities, particularly those that are locationally disadvantage. The term 'locational disadvantage' refers to neighbourhoods or geographic areas in which multiple factors that lead to disadvantage interconnect. This results in concentrations of poverty and people living in these locations experiencing both higher levels, and intergenerational cycles, of disadvantage.
Areas of entrenched locational disadvantage may be as small as a neighbourhood or as large as an inland desert region stretching across State and Territory boundaries. The evidence is that concentrations of disadvantage limit life choices and chances; undermine health and wellbeing; and tend to trap people in intergenerational cycles of vulnerability and disadvantage.
Research shows that living in neighbourhoods and areas of locational disadvantage is associated with:
- poorer outcomes for children in the areas of learning, behaviour and physical health
- poorer health in adults, including higher rates of asthma, substance use, smoking and depression
- reduced job and educational prospects
- higher levels of family distress, including higher rates of family violence, criminality, lower age on becoming a parent and higher rates of single parenthood and divorce.
What Red Cross does
The Red Cross approach to tackling entrenched locational disadvantage is focussed on building partnerships with communities and other relevant stakeholders including businesses, government and non-government agencies.
With each community and on the basis of evidence, we will work out appropriate programs and approaches that will in the first instance alleviate vulnerability and immediate need and over the longer term, strengthen both the community as a whole and the well-being of and opportunities for children, young people and families living there.