February 04, 2015
Just because parents don’t talk about their money problems in front of their kids doesn’t mean they won't feel the effect.
New research out of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) PolicyLab and First Focus, a bipartisan children's advocacy organization, looked at the recession's continued effect on U.S. children today and found lingering impact on their health, hunger, housing and rate of neglect.
Although the recession of the mid-2000s may be over, the study says the U.S. is not yet at a point where supplemental federal funding can be stripped or programs can be cut.
But that's exactly what's happening, the research indicates, and it's hurting our kids.
Researchers are hoping to convince Congress to protect children by maintaining investments in social safety-net programs and supplemental federal funding.
"If you look across the different aspects of a child's life, this report makes one thing clear: whether it's health, hunger, housing or abuse and neglect, there are more kids in harm's way today than before the recession. The question for Congress is this: what are you going to do about it?" -- Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus.
“We also know that millions of children are still struggling, and so we risk stalling or even reversing recovery by making budget and program cuts too soon,” said PolicyLab co-director Dr. David Rubin.
For example, the research points out that from 2007 to 2013, the percentage of children living in homes affected by hunger increased from 17 percent to 21.4 percent. By February 2014, 47 states had reported lower participation rates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) than in 2013.
The report also found that children face housing threats following the recession.
It points out that nearly four in 10 American children (38 percent) live in families where housing costs take up at least half of monthly income, a larger share than homeowners overall (one-tenth) or renters overall (one-fourth).
Homelessness among children reached a record high of 1.3 million in the 2012-2013 school year, according to U.S. Education Department data, while studies found homeless children face learning disabilities at double the rate of children with stable homes, emotional or behavioral problems at triple the rate, and severe health problems at triple the rate.
"If you look across the different aspects of a child's life, this report makes one thing clear: whether it's health, hunger, housing or abuse and neglect, there are more kids in harm's way today than before the recession," said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus. "The question for Congress is this: what are you going to do about it?"
Read more on the research here.