Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Child poverty and neglect rising in Michigan

Longtime readers of the blog might remember that we are based in Michigan and are partial to stories from this state. A new Kids Count report says there have been big increases in the number of Michigan children in poverty.

From the Grand Rapids Press, writer Kyla King gives us the report details.

In addition, the state saw a 25 percent jump in confirmed victims of abuse and neglect between 2000 and 2009 - most due to neglect made worse by poverty.

The Kids Count in Michigan Project found that about one in every five children in Michigan live in poverty. The rate is nearly one out of every two black kids, and more than one out of three Hispanic children.

In addition, the number of children eligible for reduced-price school lunch jumped 26 percent from 2006 to 2009. To be eligible kids must live at 185 percent of poverty, or about $40,000 a year or less for a family of four.

”Families and children are having a hard go of things because they’ve been hit economically,” said Lynn Heemstra, executive director of “Our Community’s Children” in Grand Rapids. “When people don’t have the means to support their family, that usually results in a lot of stress and therefore you’re going to see an increase in neglect.”

Now the good news: The state saw significant decreases in the number of high school dropouts, teen deaths and teen births.

No comments: