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Report: Jobs, Education Among Barriers for Indiana's Young Parents

In Indiana 67 percent of children with young adult parents live in low-income households. (faustlawmarketing/Flickr)
In Indiana 67 percent of children with young adult parents live in low-income households. (faustlawmarketing/Flickr)
September 27, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – The sleepless nights and increased costs that come with parenthood are a rude awakening for anyone, but the challenge often is greater for young parents.

A new report by The Annie E. Casey Foundation underscores the need for increased programs to support people ages 18 to 24 who have children.

Tami Silverman, president and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, says young parents still are maturing themselves, while trying to raise children and provide for their families.

"We know that many times young families struggle because they haven't had the time to establish themselves and get those jobs that provide a little more stability and income and resources in a household," she states.

For Indiana, having 13 percent of people aged 18 to 24 as parents places the state above the national average of 10 percent.

There are 89,000 children living in young parent households and 84,000 such parents.

The report recommends states provide increased access to child care, housing and employment opportunities.

Silverman notes that access to a higher education that can boost their earning power often is out of reach for young adult parents.

"Many of those young people have yet to complete a post-secondary certificate or a degree,” she points out. “Only 10 percent of those people have completed an associate's degree or higher. That can add challenges."

Rosa Maria Castaneda, a senior associate with the Casey Foundation, says young parents nationwide face similar challenges. But, she says, enacting policies to assist young parents will help two generations.

"There are still 6 million young adult parents and their children and very high rates of low-income status, very high rates of poverty for this population that we need to pay close attention to if we want to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty," she explains.

The report finds 67 percent of children of young parents in Indiana live in low-income families.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN