Category: Children

Resource Category Topic Type
Kidogo: Addressing the Childcare Needs of Low-Income Families in East Africa
To unlock the potential of this region’s millions of children, Kidogo, an innovative East African social enterprise, is harnessing the power of social sector franchising. Kidogo partners with women running informal daycares in Kenya’s urban slums to better the condition and profitability of their micro-businesses. By working with local women entrepreneurs, “Mamapreneurs,” and drastically improving the quality of Kenya’s early childhood care and education, Kidogo is altering the course of low-income families to help stop the generational cycle of poverty.
Changemaker Collaborative Child Care, Children, Education, Income, Low Income, Poverty, Women Publication
Long-Term Foster Care—Different Needs, Different Outcomes
This brief examines where foster children are living four years after removal from their homes and the characteristics of these children and their placements. Understanding whether child characteristics such as age or emotional or behavioral problems are associated with a longer stay in out-of-home care can help identify children who are least likely to find permanence and may benefit from specialized services. The authors conclude that children in long-term foster care suffer from behavioral and emotional problems at alarming rates. Better identifying and assisting children with, or at risk of developing such problems upon entry to foster care and throughout their out-of-home placement, may alleviate their needs and troubles and provide mechanisms for supporting them as they get older. The authors also discuss programs having a positive impact on former foster care youths and the need for more state and federal investment in these programs. Their findings suggest that it may be worthwhile for states to reconsider their policies for the sake of long-term success.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Children, Family, Safety Net Publication
Many Eligible Children Don’t Participate in School Nutrition Programs
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which authorizes funding for federal nutrition programs (including the National School Lunch Program; the School Breakfast Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; the Summer Food Service Program; and the Child and Adult Care Food Program), is set to expire on September 30, 2015.1 The reauthorization process allows Congress the opportunity to evaluate, alter, and allocate funding for these programs, giving rise to opportunities for expanding participation and improving program quality. This brief uses data from the 2013 Current Population Survey’s Food Security Supplement to document levels of participation in two of the largest programs authorized by this act—the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program—by region and place type (rural, suburban, and city), to identify areas where expanding participation may be especially important.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Food Assistance, Safety Net Publication
Mathematics Achievement Gaps Between Suburban Students and Their Rural and Urban Peers Increase Over Time
In this brief, authors Suzanne Graham and Lauren Provost examine whether attending a school in a rural, urban, or suburban community is related to children’s mathematics achievement in kindergarten, and whether increases in mathematics achievement between kindergarten and eighth grade differ for children in rural, urban, and suburban schools.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Rural, Urban Publication
Modest Population Gains, but Growing Diversity in New Hampshire with Children in the Vanguard
In this brief, author Kenneth Johnson reports that New Hampshire’s population grew by a modest 4.6 percent during the past decade to 1,377,500 in April 2020. In contrast, the number of minority residents, defined as those who were other than non-Hispanic Whites, increased by 74.4 percent to 176,900 in 2020.
Demography, New Hampshire Children, Demography, Hispanics, New Hampshire, Race Publication
More Poor Kids in More Poor Places: Children Increasingly Live Where Poverty Persists
The authors of this brief examine child poverty rates using decennial census data from 1980, 1990, and 2000, as well as American Community Survey five-year estimates between 2005 and 2009, to identify those counties where child poverty has persisted. They find persistent child poverty in nearly twice as many U.S. counties as those that report high persistent poverty across all age groups. In all, 342 counties have experienced persistently high levels of poverty across all age groups during the past twenty-nine years. In contrast, more than 700 counties experienced persistent child poverty over the same period. Rural areas are disproportionately likely to have persistent high child poverty; 81 percent of counties with persistent child poverty are nonmetropolitan while only 65 percent of all U.S. counties are nonmetropolitan. Overall, 26 percent of rural children reside in counties whose poverty rates have been persistently high. This compares with 12 percent of urban children. Counties with persistent child poverty cluster in Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, other areas of the Southeast, parts of the Southwest, and in the Great Plains. The authors comment that the overwhelming urban focus of welfare programs means policymakers often overlook needy families in rural areas. In addition to the high unemployment and low education levels that they document in the brief, the physical and social isolation associated with rural poverty create problems different from those in densely settled urban areas. They conclude that the reductions in government spending likely to result from the Great Recession, coupled with two decades of the devolution of policymaking responsibility from the federal to the state level (and occasionally to municipal governments), may have significant implications for children and fragile families in these persistently poor rural counties.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net, Urban Publication
More Than 95 Percent of U.S. Children Had Health Insurance in 2015
Enrolling all children in health insurance is a primary goal of health care advocates. Children who have health insurance have better access to health care and, as a result, experience gains in a variety of well-being measures, including health and school attainment.1 Most children are covered by private insurance,2 but public insurance available through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has significantly contributed to gains in insurance rates among children.3 Providing access to health care for children living in poverty was central to Medicaid during the “The Great Society” project of the 1960s. CHIP was adopted in 1997, which aimed to enroll low-income children whose parents’ income was too high to qualify for Medicaid, but too low to afford private coverage. Despite some debate regarding the income level at which children ought to qualify for public coverage, legislation to insure children has received bipartisan support.4 Policy and advocacy efforts to insure children have been effective: a higher share of children were enrolled in health insurance in 2015—95.2 percent—than at any time since these data started being collected in 20085 (see Table 1). Rates of coverage increased 1.2 percentage points between 2014 and 2015. By region, the largest gains occurred in the South (1.2 percentage points) and the West (1.9 percentage points). These two regions traditionally have had the lowest rates of coverage and therefore the most opportunity for growth. Yet even after marked improvements in children’s coverage in both, they still lag behind the Northeast and Midwest. Rates of coverage also grew across all place types (cities, suburbs, and rural places) between 2014 and 2015 except in Midwestern cities, where the measured gain was not statistically significant. The most substantial gains occurred in Western and Southern suburban and rural places.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Health Insurance, Safety Net Publication
Most U.S. School Districts Have Low Access to School Counselors
In education today, diverse movements such as the “whole child” approach, “conveyor belt” services, and “Let’s Move!” share a common understanding that children bring a host of needs to school and often require more than academic support.1 Students living in poverty often benefit from more intensive support, as they are much more likely to come from difficult circumstances such as less stable homes2 and more violent environments.3 It is difficult to estimate the number of children with social or emotional impediments to learning, but by any measure it is substantial.4 Addressing the non-cognitive challenges these students face is important not only for them but for their peers, who can experience harmful spillover effects.5 Even students who perform well can face “last mile” hurdles that prevent them from successfully transitioning to suitable college or career options. School counselors,6 tasked with addressing the academic, career, personal, and social needs of students, play a crucial role in bridging these gaps. Perhaps the most popularized aspect of their work is conducting one-on-one and small group counseling with students in need, but in addition school counselors often work closely with school administrators, teachers, school support staff, parents, and outside community members to design, implement, and evaluate comprehensive wellness programs within schools. For instance, such curricula may aim to provide drug abuse awareness, foster non-cognitive academic skills, or develop appropriate social connections.8 Additionally, school counselors play an important role in meeting the needs of, and advocating for, students with a disability.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education Publication
New Census Reflects Growing U.S. Population Diversity, with Children in the Forefront
The U.S. population grew by a modest 7.4 percent during the past decade to 331.4 million in April 2020. There was a significant increase in racial diversity over the course of the decade, both in the population as a whole, and children in particular.
Demography African Americans, Children, Demography, Hispanics, Race Publication
New Data Show One-in-Six Children Were Poor Before COVID-19 Pandemic
New American Community Survey (ACS) data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 17, 2020 show child poverty at 16.8 percent in 2019, down from 18 percent in 2018. Sub-national patterns in child poverty remain intact; for example, higher in rural and urban places than in the suburbs. Importantly, 2019 child poverty declines are likely now outdated due to the COVID-19-related recession, the effects of which may last years. For instance, child poverty had still not yet returned to pre-Great Recession rates from 2007 in all states by 2019, illustrating that recovery in child poverty can be a long process.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty Publication
New Hampshire Children in Need of Services: Impacts of 2011 Legislative Changes to CHINS
Using administrative data from state and local agencies and data from interviews with CHINS professionals, this brief provides an overview of participation in the Children in Need of Services (CHINS) program before and after the change in the law in September 2011 but before funding returned in 2013.
Evaluation, New Hampshire Children, Health, New Hampshire, Safety Net Publication
New Population Projections Reflect Slower Growth and Increasing Diversity
Two important demographic trends are reflected in newly released Census Bureau projections. The pace of U.S. population growth is slowing, and the population continues to become more diverse. These trends reflect distinctly different demographic trajectories among whites and minorities driven by the interaction of several key demographic forces. This will produce a rich tapestry of demographic change in the United States over the next several decades.
Demography Birth Rates, Children, Demography, Hispanics Publication
One Million Additional Children in Poverty Since 2009: 2010 Data Reveal Nearly One in Four Southern Children Now Live in Poverty
American Community Survey (ACS) data released on September 22, 2011 allow for a detailed look at child poverty by state and place, adding to the understanding of the economic landscape described by the Current Population Survey (CPS) data released last week. While the CPS data are useful for providing a snapshot of poverty across the nation, the larger sample size of the ACS--three million addresses versus 100,000 addresses in the CPS--makes it better suited for nuanced analyses of poverty. In this brief, the authors use the ACS data released on September 22 to focus on child poverty. The authors report that between 2009 and 2010 an additional one million children joined the ranks of those in poverty. This brings the total to an estimated 15.7 million poor children in 2010, an increase of 2.6 million since the Great Recession began in 2007. Of the 15.7 million poor children in 2010, 5.9 million are young (under age 6), an increase of 220,000 over one year. Across the United States, rural, suburban, and central city areas all realized significant increases in child poverty between 2009 and 2010 and since the recent recession began in 2007. Congressional concerns over the federal debt have already resulted in an agreement that will force significant cuts to domestic spending, including many programs that serve children and families. The authors stress that, although budget cuts are unavoidable, policy makers should carefully consider how cuts are distributed, keeping America's most vulnerable families in mind as the effects of the recession reverberate, as demonstrated by high child poverty rates.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Out-of-Home Care by State and Place: Higher Placement Rates for Children in Some Remote Rural Places
This fact sheet examines out-of-home placement rates for children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. The data finds that children in remote rural areas have overall higher rates of out-of-home placements. It also provides data on placement rates by rural or urban status to help inform policy makers as they discuss the child welfare system.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Health, Rural Publication
Over 3 Million Low-Income Children in Rural Areas Face Cut in Child Tax Credit if Recovery Act Improvement Expires
According to this new research, at the end of 2010, the Child Tax Credit improvements that were included in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will expire if Congress does not extend them. If this happens, low-income working families across America will be affected.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net, Tax Publication
Over Sixteen Million Children in Poverty in 2011
UPDATE: This brief has been updated to include revised versions of Figure 1 (page 2) and Appendix 1 (page 6). The original version of this brief overestimated the statistical significance of some state-level changes in child poverty between 2010 and 2011, and has been revised accordingly.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty Publication
Overall Declines in Child Poverty Mask Relatively Stable Rates Across States
Earlier this week, the U.S. Census Bureau published its official poverty estimates noting a decline in poverty across the population.1 In this brief, we use additional Census data released today from the American Community Survey (ACS), the only regular source for estimating yearly child poverty rates at, and below, the state level. We examine child poverty rates across the United States by place type, region, and state (see Box 1). Child poverty decreased across the United States from 21.7 percent in 2014 to 20.7 percent in 2015 (see Table 1). Nationwide child poverty rates are still higher, however, than they were in 2009, at the end of the Great Recession. Child poverty has declined to 2009 levels in rural areas only, and remains above pre-recession levels in all place types (analyses not shown). Child poverty declined across all place types over the past year, as shown in Table 1. It remains lowest in suburbs and highest in cities, though rural areas are not far behind. Regionally, child poverty rates were highest in the South and lowest in the Northeast; yet, Northeastern cities have higher child poverty than cities in any other region. Child poverty fell in thirteen states and only rose in Mississippi—the only state with a child poverty rate over 30 percent. New Hampshire child poverty remains among the lowest nationwide at 10.7 percent, a significant decline from last year. See Figure 1. While these child poverty declines are promising and corroborated by results from the official poverty statistics published earlier this week, it is important to keep in mind that most states experienced no change between 2014 and 2015. Lower child poverty rates appear to be driven by higher median incomes over the past year.2
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty Publication
Proposed EITC Expansion Would Increase Eligibility and Dollars for Rural and Urban “Childless” Workers
This brief uses data from the 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey to examine how President Obama’s proposed expanded eligibility and higher credit values might affect tax filers in both rural and urban America.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Employment, Rural, Safety Net, Tax, Urban Publication
Psychotropic Medication Use Among Children in the Child Welfare System
Prior research demonstrates that children in the child welfare system are given psychotropic medication at rates approximately three times higher than children and adolescents in the general population.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Health Publication
Public Insurance Drove Overall Coverage Growth Among Children in 2012
Using data from the American Community Survey, this brief examines the rates of health insurance coverage among children under 18 in the United States by region and by rural, suburban, and central city residence between 2008 and 2012.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Health Insurance Publication