Every year we take a look at the national statistics compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services on the state of childcare across the country. These statistics are used to evaluate whether the risk factors affecting the welfare of America’s children are increasing or diminishing.
How many children are born below the poverty line, to single parents, to teenage women, in high crime areas, in food insecure environments, without the medical attention that healthy children require?
Here are some statistics that are considered indicators of possible future instability, poor physical and mental health, inadequate education, and a high risk of criminal behavior for the children of our next generation. They may surprise you.
Of the 73 million children under the age of 18 in the United States at the end of 2014 (the last year that statistics have been compiled), 71 million were native born and 2 million immigrated from foreign countries.
The Department of Health and Human Services reports that:
- 15.6 million (23%) of these children are living below the national poverty line
- 10.3 million live in neighborhoods designated by the Federal Government as dangerous “high crime” areas.
The traditional family unit that has always been responsible for the welfare of our children continues to break down.
- 24.8 million (35%) of America’s children were born to a single parent, of which over 250,000 of these women were teenagers.
- 3.6 million children now find themselves with no parent at all
- 2.8 million are being raised by grandparents.
- 380 thousand children under the age of 18 are in foster care.
Unstable families often lead to suffering from the very beginning.
- 23 thousand babies died in unattended childbirth resulting in a 6% infant mortality rate in the U. S.
- In 2014, CPS agencies across the country received more than 600 thousand reports of maltreatment.
- 54 thousand children under the age of 18 are in juvenile detention, treatment facilities, or jail.
- 1.3 million dependent minors were treated for drug or alcohol abuse. Now these are shocking statistics!
As the population grows - pain and suffering grow apace. Children at risk is nothing new. Case workers in Child and Family Services agencies across the country are working every day to alleviate this suffering and protect children from neglect and abuse. The sad truth, they tell us, is that poverty always falls hardest on helpless children. However, more and more today - agency employ robust case management tools and software to help manage workflow and information.
Case workers in Welfare are working alongside Child and Family Services agencies to alleviate the immediate dangers of poverty. State by state, our government is putting on a mighty effort to protect children from the pain and suffering of poverty. Although some of these statistics are staggering, the man hours and resources that are being marshaled on behalf of children also staggers the imagination.
Don’t give up. One child at a time.