Extreme poverty has doubled

The last several state Kids Count data books have tracked the increase in child poverty, but the latest highlights the fact that between 2000 and 2010 the percentage of children in extreme poverty doubled—from 5 percent to 11 percent. These children live in families with income under half the poverty level—less than about $900 a month for a family of four with two children.

Given our understanding of the consequences of deep and prolonged poverty, we should be exerting every effort to address it. International and national health experts have repeatedly emphasized the importance of socioeconomic well-being in fostering or compromising health—physical, mental and emotional. (more…)

Report finds Michigan child abuse, neglect up

The rate of child abuse and neglect increased by more than one-third in Michigan during the past decade, the result of high unemployment and inadequate social programs, according to a new report released today. Jan. 24, 2012 — The Detroit News

Many Michigan kids living in poverty, report finds

Fewer Michigan teens are having babies or dropping out of school, and educational benchmarks for some of the state’s youngest students have improved, according to the new Kids Count report. Jan. 24, 2012 — Detroit Free Press

Report Finds More Michigan Kids Living In Extreme Poverty

More Michigan kids are living in extreme poverty, according to the new “Kids Count in Michigan” report that was released today. Jan. 24, 2012 — WILX.com

Kids Count reveals poverty rates increasing

The number of Kent County children living in poverty has increased every year of the last decade. At the same time, many of the support systems that children need to be healthy and successful in school are unraveling in the face of budget cuts and increasing needs. Jan. 24, 2012 — WZZM13

Kids Count in Michigan

Contact: Jane Zehnder-Merrell or Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436

Kids Count: Growing poverty threatens children’s health
Recent Michigan policy decisions worsen the impact on kids

LANSING — Child abuse and neglect in Michigan jumped 34 percent over the past decade while nearly half of public school children statewide now qualify for free and reduced price lunches, the latest Kids Count in Michigan Data Book released today concludes.

Michigan’s long economic struggle is reflected in the new Kids Count findings. Children qualify for school-based meals if their family income is 185 percent of poverty or less. Studies confirm that families need income of about 200 percent of poverty – at least $44,226 for a family of four – to cover basic needs without assistance. Poverty also drives up neglect cases. (more…)

Some things missing in speech

Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address included some welcome items but what he didn’t speak about was telling.

The governor mentioned the need for a safety net for those most in need. He supported immigration, pointing out that major Michigan companies — Dow, Masco and Meijer — were started by immigrants. He talked about the need for a Michigan health care exchange, which will move federal health care reform forward in our state. (more…)

React to State of the State

Governor needs to rethink unraveling of public structures

“We’re glad the governor called for a safety net for those most in need. What that suggests is the need to go back and look at the policies that actually harmed those most in need.

He spoke about helping kids in foster care, which is noble, but we need to lift up thousands of kids who are victims of poverty in our state. Cutting their parents’ cash assistance, their clothing allowance, the very food that’s put on their tables is not the way to assure a safety net.” (more…)

Finding courage

I began this holiday weekend participating in a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. diversity breakfast.

I thought about all the events being held celebrating his legacy and extolling the tremendous contributions Dr. King has made to the world in which we currently live. (more…)

Statement on new revenue

Boosting working families, helping needy kids
good ways to restore balance

“The $278 million in additional revenue forecast today at the Revenue Estimating Conference, along with the budget surplus of $457 million projected by the State Budget Office, could go a long way to support Michigan people struggling to get back on their feet. (more…)

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