North Carolina Drops In Child Well-Being
How are our children faring in a depressed economy? In North Carolina, child poverty has reached its highest level in a decade, according to data released by the Annie E Casey Foundation in its 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book.
North Carolina now ranks 38th in key indicators of child health and well-being, falling from 37th in 2010.
With the recession hitting homes with unemployment, the gloomy news may not even paint a full picture of the hardships our state's children are facing. That's because indicators of well-being typically lag behind economic indicators and have yet to capture the full impact of the recession, according to Action for Children North Carolina, which released a statement about the report.
Looking to track the effect of the recession, the report this year includes two new indicators – the number of children impacted by foreclosure and households with at least one unemployed parent. In North Carolina 90,000, or 2 percent, of the state's children were hurt by foreclosure since 2007. In 2010, an estimated 253,000, or 12 percent, of children in this state lived in households where there was at least one parent who was eligible for or seeking employment, but was unemployed at the time the data were collected.
Another troubling statistics was seen in the youngest children. The percentage of newborns weighing less than 2,500 grams (about 5.5 pounds) has been largely unchanged for most of the past decade.
But for teens, the report showed good news. The number of births to girls ages 15 to 19 declined 17 percent since 2000, and the share of teens who are not in school and who are not high school graduates improved.
Looking for way to help children who live in poverty in the Triangle?
The Backpack Buddies Food Drive, a joint effort between WRAL-FM and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, is accepting food and monetary donations on Aug. 18, 6 a.m.-6 p.m., at Crabtree Valley Mall and Crossroads Plaza in Cary. For details, click here.