Economic Opportunity in Rural Communities

Posted January 1, 2014
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog economicopportunitiesinruralcommunities 2014

The Casey Foun­da­tion focus­es on ensur­ing all chil­dren have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to suc­ceed in life — includ­ing the more than 25 per­cent of kids in rur­al areas who live in pover­ty (a sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er rate than in the suburbs).

Fam­i­lies liv­ing in high-pover­ty com­mu­ni­ties are often iso­lat­ed, and their chil­dren are more like­ly to lack cru­cial resources such as health insur­ance, child care, access to pub­lic ben­e­fits such as the earned income tax cred­it and oth­er sup­port ser­vices. Those in rur­al com­mu­ni­ties face addi­tion­al hur­dles: They are often far removed from oppor­tu­ni­ties and sup­port ser­vices they need to suc­ceed and live in com­mu­ni­ties that strug­gle to mobi­lize the resources and con­nec­tions that strength­en fam­i­lies. In rur­al Amer­i­ca, being iso­lat­ed and dis­con­nect­ed — social­ly or geo­graph­i­cal­ly — can thwart the efforts and aspi­ra­tions of even the most resource­ful fam­i­lies, includ­ing efforts aimed at help­ing their kids succeed.

The Foun­da­tion has invest­ed for more than a decade in strate­gies to help fam­i­lies in rur­al com­mu­ni­ties get on a path to finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty. These strate­gies allow par­ents to increase and save more of their income, build their assets, access finan­cial coach­ing and edu­ca­tion and, ulti­mate­ly, bet­ter sup­port their children’s healthy growth and devel­op­ment. In addi­tion, Casey sup­ports research to doc­u­ment the effec­tive­ness of these strate­gies and help inform pol­i­cy deci­sions. By prov­ing what works to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of these chil­dren and their fam­i­lies, we aim to increase pub­lic and pri­vate invest­ments in effec­tive pro­grams that help move kids in low-income fam­i­lies out of poverty.

Learn more about our invest­ments in this are­na and the chal­lenges fac­ing America’s low-income fam­i­lies in rur­al areas:

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