This paper describes a new way of thinking about families raising children in low-income communities. This new premise of "family strengthening," championed by the Casey Foundation, is that children do well when families do well, and that families do well when they live in supportive communities. This brief outlines how enhancing connections within families, and between families, and the institutions that affect them result in better outcomes for children and their families, and how this new way of thinking can influence public policy.
Poverty encompasses more than insufficient income – it represents a lack of access to health care and decent paying jobs, inadequate education and poor nutrition.
The poverty rate among children under 18 jumped from 17% in 2002 to 18% in 2003, totaling almost 13 million poor children.
In 2000, 28% of American families with children were headed by a single parent.
Parents have fewer hours to dedicate to their children due to the time crunch of balancing work and family life.
The fastest growing immigrant groups to the United States have shifted from Europe and Canada to Latin America and Asia.
Statements & Quotations
The Children’s Defense Fund asserts that poverty affects child development and long-term opportunities because “children who are poor are more likely to die in infancy, have a low birthrate, lack health care, housing and adequate food and receive lower scores in math and reading”.
AECF [Annie E. Casey Foundation] defines family strengthening as a deliberate process of giving parents the necessary opportunities, relationships, networks, and supports to raise their children successfully, which includes involving parents as decision-makers in how their communities meet family needs.
Subscribe to our newsletter to get our data, reports and news in your inbox.