VA Child Poverty Strategy: Kids Succeed When Families Succeed
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. - A new strategy - helping kids by helping their families - is offering promise for Virginia's poverty-fighting efforts.
A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says child poverty programs can have more impact with a "two-generation approach," helping parents at the same time as their children. That might sound obvious, but the report says many programs are narrowly targeted at areas such as children's health or education. This would broaden that focus.
Emily Griffey, senior policy analyst for Voices for Virginia's Children, said it matches what they've seen with some state programs.
"We're getting a more effective government that has a better impact on children and families," she said. "Kids succeed when families succeed - and when these families work, our society works better."
According to Patrice Cromwell, director of strategic initiatives for the Casey Foundation, supporting the children of struggling families could mean focusing on job training and employment assistance for their parents. She said that helps them be better mothers and fathers by "supporting parents in their ability to get and keep a job and be a strong parent.
"If we can help families become more stable," she said, "it leads to lower family stress."
One Virginia program uses home visits to provide family coaching. It's designed to address children's developmental, health and educational needs, but also job training and other assistance for the parents. Griffey said it has increased the parents' employment by 40 percent, and done a lot for the kids as a result. She called it an excellent value for Virginia taxpayers.
"But we know right now," she said, "that only 12 percent of the low-income families with young children who could benefit from home-visiting services have access, due to funding limitations."
About one-third of Virginia children are growing up in low-income families.
The report, "Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach," is online at AECF.org.
get more stories like this via email
The work of some nonprofit organizations has only increased with the pandemic and the needs that have come from it. An author and expert in the field …
By Lourdes Medrano for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Arizona News Connection, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …
Hispanic Heritage Month began in mid-September and runs through Oct. 15, and a financial institution in Washington state is finding unique ways to …
Conservation groups say more needs to be done to protect the natural and cultural resources of Utah's Labyrinth Canyon from off-road vehicles…
Despite being aimed at children in kindergarten through third grade, Florida teachers say what's often referred to as the "Don't Say Gay" law has …
Consumer groups are pressing for legislation to reform the way credit agencies handle errors on credit reports. The calls to amend the Fair Credit …
A relatively small number of so-called "super emitters" are responsible for 40% of the methane emissions in oil and gas hotspots such as California's …
As "Banned Books Week" comes to a close, Connecticut libraries have been celebrating with great fervor - despite numerous book bans and challenges…