ERIC Number: ED406080
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Dec
Poor Kids in a Rich Nation: Eating the Seed Corn.
This paper examines the problem of having many poor children in the wealthy United States and the need to find answers to this problem. Despite much recent talk about "family values," the dominant U.S. ideology holds that family welfare is a private rather than a public responsibility. Poor children are seen as a special population that diverts resources from "the rest of us." An alternative vision recognizes mutual responsibility and emphasizes support for families, especially their efforts to raise children. A comprehensive anti-poverty policy would employ three basic strategies: risk minimization (prenatal and postnatal care to improve child outcomes and wellness programs to prevent disabilities); career development (with consideration for the integration of work and family roles); and asset development (protection against sudden unemployment). A brief overview of childhood poverty demonstrates decreases in poverty between 1960 and 1970, especially in rural areas; increases between 1980 and 1990; consistently higher rates of child poverty and deep poverty in nonmetro areas and among African Americans; and the extent of poverty among two-parent families. Poverty is not good for children. In particular, family poverty may lead to poor birth outcomes, malnutrition, parental stress and punitive parenting, low child self-esteem, and poor academic performance and subsequent limited employment opportunities. Specific rural poverty-related problems include discouragement of eligible families from applying for welfare, reluctance of rural residents to apply, inadequate social services, and inadequate infrastructure to administer programs or compete for funds. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Pathways from Poverty Educational Network; see RC 020 963.