ERIC Number: ED342494
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
The Plight of America's Children: A Plea for Entitlement.
The status of American children is worse today than it has been at any time in the past 50 years. One in every five children in the United States lives in poverty. The incidence of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse has increased dramatically. Many children are physiologically and emotionally damaged or dying from the primary or secondary effects of alcohol and drugs. Nearly 10 million children are emotionally disturbed or mentally ill, with most lacking adequate treatment. One million teenagers have children. Life for minority children is getting worse. School-age children in general are not learning. Children are suffering from an informal policy of national neglect that will have devastating consequences in the years ahead. By the year 2050, a total of 146 million Americans will be in their prime years of productivity. If that number is reduced by millions of adults who are victims of today's neglect, the number of nonproductive, functionally dependent Americans of all ages will exceed the number upon whom they will realistically be able to depend. To remedy this situation, the United States must have a formal social and economic policy that every child is entitled to an opportunity to reach his or her full potential. If children are to be guaranteed opportunities for self-actualization, then their physiological, social, security, and self-worth needs must be met. (AC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Illinois State Dept. of Children and Family Services, Springfield.