Tag Archive: poverty

  1. Looking for a New Year Resolution?

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    It’s that time of year where we start to think of the many different things we can do in the next year to be a better version of ourselves.

    If you haven’t been able to think of a resolution yet, Voices has one guaranteed to bring you more knowledge in 2017: learn more about how children in your community are faring by using Voices’ data and interactive maps!

    We’ve been hard at work these last few weeks to ensure our KIDS COUNT Data Center has the most up-to-date data for your use. With the release of the 2015 American Community Survey and the Small Area Poverty Estimates in December, the poverty indicators in the Data Center are now updated to 2015 data, with more updates on other topics to come in the following weeks.

    Most exciting of all, you can now go to our website and use our new interactive map to get a snapshot of where children who are economically disadvantaged live across the Commonwealth. Learn which localities have the highest number and highest percentage of children economically disadvantaged. Hint: they aren’t the same localities, with one glaring exception…

    So what are you waiting for? Check it out!

    Happy New Year and well wishes for data exploring.

    *Children who are economically disadvantaged are defined as living below 200% of the federal poverty level (in 2015 that is a total gross combined salary of $24,250 for a family of four). These children live in families who struggle to meet basic needs, such as food, housing, utilities, child care, and transportation.
  2. When Families Work, Everything Works Better- A Two-Generation Approach

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    A two-generation approach to address poverty, income and employment is called for in a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach. The two-generation approach could benefit more than 200,000 young children in Virginia who live in families with no full-time, year-round employment. The strategies highlighted in the KIDS COUNT® policy report propose integrating state and federal employment, education and child care programs to create better opportunities for the entire family.

    Virginia’s previous success with this approach is highlighted through the example of the Comprehensive Health Improvement Project (CHIP) home visiting program. CHIP sites across Virginia connect families with infants and toddlers to build important skills, such as creating routines, managing their families and bolstering their children’s health — all of which smooth parents’ path to employment. The two-generation services offered by CHIP led to a 40 percent increase in employment among participating families.

    “Home visiting works to get families working,” said Lisa Specter-Dunaway, CEO of CHIP of Virginia. “And when families work, everything else works better.”

    The report calls for comprehensive and collaborative approaches to align policies that benefit both children and families, especially those at-risk families with limited employment and educational options. The three recommendations of the report—creating policies to help children and parents, structuring systems to serve families and using existing programs to build evidence for pathways out of poverty- fall within the purview of the recently formed Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success. This Council will make recommendations seeking to shape Virginia’s policies around early childhood development and will review how Virginia’s systems are poised to meet the needs of families with young children.

    Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, chair of the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success, said, “It is past time for Virginia to put every effort towards strengthening our early childhood system. The Council is working to develop recommendations focused on creating better policy and structuring our systems to lift up economically disadvantaged families with young children.”

    The report was featured by Virginia News Connection on November 12, 2014.


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    Voices/KIDS COUNT has a new report “Virginia Children in Poverty: 2006-2010”. Growing up in poverty puts children at risk of a host of negative outcomes. Children from poor and low-income families are much more likely to live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, have significant health problems, start school already behind, attend low-performing schools, experience learning problems and grade retention, be exposed to violence and other trauma, suffer abuse or neglect, develop behavior problems and become delinquent.

    As adults, they are more likely to have dropped out of school, have chronic health problems, experience periods of unemployment, make lower wages, be single parents, or have criminal justice involvement. The harmful effects of child poverty are cumulative: the longer the stay in poverty, the greater the risk of negative outcomes.

    Read this new report for the latest information about Virginia’s children.