Hear Their Voices: Springfield’s Children in Poverty Denise Cunningham Paul Rollinson Sue George Lloyd Young Cindy MacGregor Bev Long
ADVISORYPANEL Sr. Lorraine Biebel Dr. Sandy D’Angelo Dr. Judy Dasovitch Rev. David Huskisson
THE COMMUNITY’S CHALLENGE • “A growing number of families are living below the • poverty level, as suggested by the dynamic growth in the • number of children enrolled in the free and reduced lunch • program. This troublesome trend has significant • implications; the lingering effects of poverty can be felt in • every area of community life…Child abuse and neglect, • family violence, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, teen • pregnancy, and other societal problems happen in every • segment of society but are most prevalent among the poor. • The economic cost of lost potential and productivity is • staggering, and the cost of treatment burdens all • Springfield and Greene County residents.” Source: Community Focus 2005: A Report for Springfield and Greene County, p. 9. Retrieved March 17, 2007 http://www.springfieldcommunity focus.org
COMMUNITY RESPONSE • The GRANTMAKER’S CHALLENGE FOR CHILDREN, undertaken by 25 collaborating local philanthropic and funding agencies, and individuals, is investing $7.83 million over a five year period (2006 – 2011) to support community programs which focus on the problems of children, especially children growing up in poverty. Community agencies, churches, and others have made concerted efforts to address the problem’s related to childhood poverty. Source: January 2007 Update on Projects in the Grantmakers Challenge, prepared by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
Questions • What is poverty? • How many children are growing up in poverty? • Where are children growing up in poverty? • Why are children growing up in poverty? • What are these children’s lives like? • What do these children need from their families and community? • Why should the community respond?
What is Poverty? • The US. Census Bureau defines the “absolute poverty line” as the threshold below which families or individuals are considered to be lacking the resources to meet the basic needs for healthy living; having sufficient income to provide the food, shelter, and clothing needed to preserve health. • The poverty threshold is 3 times the cost of the Economy Food Plan, which is the least costly nutritionally adequate of the four the Department of Agriculture’s food plans. • The poverty threshold is tied to annual changes in the Consumer Price Index. Source: U.S. Census Bureau retrieved March 15, 2007 http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/povdef.html
Typical Family of Four - $19,806 Source: U.S. Census Bureau. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2005. Retrieved March 17, 2006 http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-231.pdf
Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate 1959-2005 United States Source: U.S. Census Bureau. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2005. Retrieved March 17, 2006 http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-231.pdf
Poverty Rates by Age 1959-2005 United States Source: U.S. Census Bureau. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2005. Retrieved March 17, 2006 http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-231.pdf
Missouri Poverty Data 2004-2005 American Community Survey retrieved March 28,2007 factfinder.census.gov/servlet/STTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=04000US29&-qr_name=ACS_2005_ EST_G00_S1701&-ds_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false
Poverty Rates Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) American Community Survey retrieved March 38, 2007 http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/Profiles/Single/2003/ACS/Tabular/380/38000US79203.htm
Greene County Children in Poverty 1990-2005 Kids Count 2005 Profiles retrieved 4/1/07 http://mcdc2.missouri.edu/data /indctrs/kidscnt/reports_graphs/reports.html U.S. Census Bureau American Fact Finder retrieved 4/1/07 http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/
Greene County Family Poverty Ratios 2005 U.S. Census Bureau American Fact Finder retrieved 4/1/07 http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData
For 2006, the federal poverty level is $20,000 for a family of four. There were 1,377,910 children in 808,039 families in Missouri. Missouri Poor and Near Poor Children in 2006 875,516 children 271,748 children 230,646 children Source: National Center for Children in Poverty retrieved 2/8/07 from http://www.nccp.org/state_detail_demographic_poor_MO.html
Persistent Poverty Counties Persistent poverty counties– 20 percent or more residents were poor as measured by each of the last four censuses, 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000. Source: http://www.kc.frb.org/PUBLICAT/heartlnd/hrtdrabe.pdf
Origin of Homeless Households By County Who Moved to Springfield in 2000 Source: Rollinson, Paul A. and Pardeck John T. 2006. Homelessness in Rural America. Haworth Press.
Missouri Children in Poverty(%)2000 Percent of Related Children Under 18 Below Poverty Level in Missouri, by County 2000 Missouri = 15.3% Greene County Source: Retrieved March 17, 2007 http://oseda.missouri.edu/maps/poverty/pct_poor_kids_2000_co.gif
Regional Poverty Levels, 2000 Source: Missouri Economic Research & Information Center (MERIC), Mo Dept. of Economic Development retrieved February 8, 2007 http://www.missourieconomy.org/regional/census/sphhinc.stm
Springfield State House Districts Poverty Percent 2000 139 137 134 138 136 140 135 Source: Annie E Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT CENSUS DATA ONLINE retrieved February 8, 2007 www.aecf.org/cgi-bin/aeccensus.cgi?action= profileresults&area=29S
Strong sense of family High priority on their children Strong social units, attachments, and bonds Recurrent behavior patterns that provide a sense of security Boundaries that have meaning even if they don’t work well Tolerant of frustrations Skills in seeking and using help Generous and empathetic attitude toward others in similar circumstances Creative use of limited income The ability to balance multiple low paying jobs Characteristics of Poor Families Source: Working with Families of the Poor: Patricia Minuchin, Jorge Colapinto, and Salvador Minuchin 2007 pp. 25-26, 51
Missouri’s Poor Parents are Working • 27% (61,428) of children in poor families have at least one parent who is employed full-time, year-round. • 48% (111,500) of children in poor families have at least one parent who is employed either part-year or part-time.25% (57,717) of children in poor families do not have an employed parent. 75% Are Working Source: National Center for Children in Poverty retrieved February 8, 2007 http://www. nccp.org/state_detail_demographic_poor_MO.html
Financial Traps • Low income individuals find themselves in need of funds to meet expenses and do not have access to more traditional means of payment. They are forced to turn to financing opportunities that often cost significantly larger rates of pay for access to the funds. 1 • Pay Day Loans2 • Car Title Loans2 • Refund Anticipation Loans 3 1 PAYDAY ADVANCE CREDIT IN AMERICA: AN ANALYSIS OF CUSTOMER DEMAND Monograph #35 April 2001 Gregory Elliehausen, Ph.D., Edward C. Lawrence, Ph.D.p.1 2 Missouri Office of State Auditor, Report No. 2001-36: division of Finance & Regulationof the Instant Loan Industry (May 9, 2001 Retrieved February 21, 2007 http://www.auditor.mo.gov/press/2001-36.htm p. 3 3 Another Year of Losses: High Priced Refund Anticipation Loans Continue to take a Chunk out of American’s Tax Refunds retrieved February 21, 2007 http://www.consumerlaw.org/action_agenda/refund_anticipation/content/2006RALReport.pdf p.p 1,2
Growth in Missouri Payday Lenders 2003-2007 Report to General Assembly from Division of Finance January 17, 2007 retrieved February 15, 2007 http://www.missouri-finance.org/upload/2007_payday_lender_survey_001.pdf
Map of Springfield Payday and Title Lenders Source: Division of Finance Sept 30, 2006 http://www.missouri-finance.org/Contribute%20Documents/500list.pdf
Missouri Children Who Moved 2005 Source: National Center for Children in Poverty retrieved February 15, 2007 http://www.nccp.org/state_detail_demographic_poor_MO.html
Missouri Educational Status of Parents of Poor Children, 2006 • 55% (68,127) of children whose parents do not have a high school degree live in poor families.28% (102,566) of children whose parents have a high school degree, but no college education live in poor families.7% (59,953) of children whose parents have some college or more live in poor families. Source: National Center for Children in Poverty retrieved March 17, 2007 http://www.nccp.org/state_detail_demographic_poor_MO.html
Missouri Annual High School Student Dropout Rate 2005 Greene County Source: Missouri Kids Count 2006 retrieved February 8, 2007 http://oseda.missouri.edu/kidscount/maps.shtml
Missouri Children in Single Parent Families 2006 • 69% (158,286) of children • in poor families live with a • single parent. • 26% (295,318) of children • in not poor families live • with a single parent. Source: National Center for Children in Poverty retrieved February 8, 2007 http://www.nccp.org/state_detail_demographic_poor_MO.html
Greene County % of Single Parents with Children 1990-2000 (12,765 Children) Source: Missouri Kids Count 2006 retrieved February 8, 2007 http://mcdc2.missouri.edu/data/indctrs/kidscnt/reportsgraphs/graphs.html
Missouri Teen Births 2005 Greene County Source: Missouri Kids Count 2006, retrieved February 8, 2007 http://oseda.missouri.edu/kidscount/maps.shtml
Greene County Teen Birth Rate1990-2005 (408 births in 2005) Source: Missouri Kids Count 2006 retrieve February 8, 2007 http://mcdc2.missouri.edu/data/indctrs/kidscnt/reports_graphs/graphs.html
Lingering Effects of Poverty • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Adverse Childhood Experiences Study • retrieved 3/29/06 http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/ace/index.htm
Behavioral Health Issues • 2411 Children in Greene County were receiving treatment for Serious Emotional Disorders in 2005. Source: Mo Kids Count 2006 526 women who were below poverty level received chemical dependency treatment from Carol Jones Recovery Center in 2006. 157 children below poverty level participated in programs with their parents or in child care programs in 2006. Source: Carol Jones Staff 3/16/07
Poverty Has Many Causes, including….. • Low paying/ Limiting Employment • Financial Traps • Low Educational Levels • Single Parents • Teen Births • Health Issues
Springfield House Districts Cumulative Poverty Social Problems 2000 139 137 134 138 136 140 135 Source: Annie E Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT CENSUS DATA ONLINE retrieved February 8, 2007 www.aecf.org/cgi-bin/aeccensus.cgi?action= profileresults&area=29S
The Voices of Educators and Kindergarten Children • What does it look like to the children? • Interviews were conducted with Educators and Children between October 2006 and January 2007 to gain a sense of the world of kindergartners in poverty.
A Note Regarding MethodologyDr. Denise Cunningham • The following qualitative data were gathered through formal and informal interviews with kindergarten students and educators from Greene County schools. • Over a six month period, I had interactions with nearly 200 5-6 years olds • Educators included: regular classroom teachers, Title 1 teachers, reading coaches, and school administrators. • Kindergarten children were students identified by school administrators as receiving free/reduced priced meals.
Methodology cont. • Interviews with educators continued until saturation of information occurred. • Interviews were transcribed and thematically coded. • Data presented represents ideas most frequently stated by educators. • Informed consent forms were signed by parent/guardian of children. • Children’s quotes were gathered during formal interviews.
Children’s Dreams • “A police officer. I like him. He’s been to our house sometimes when mommy calls him.” What do you want to be when you grow up? “Astronaut. I like the stars.” “I’ll like to be a doctor. But I probably have to pass first grade first.” Source: Springfield Children in Poverty Project Interviews, Oct. 06- Jan 07
Academic Picture: Educator’s Perspective • Limited background experiences • Limited language & vocabulary • Fewer problem-solving skills – more behavioral problems Source: Springfield Children in Poverty Project Interviews, Oct. 06- Jan 07
School:Child’s perspective • “I don’t like “most the other stuff ‘cept for recess.” “I think it is stupid and I don’t like school work.” “I don’t like lots (about school). I don’t like to read books.” Source: Springfield Children in Poverty Project Interviews, Oct. 06- Jan 07
Socio-Emotional Picture:Educator’s Perspective • Display more overt aggression • Less likely to delay gratification • Less likely to respond to typical “middle class” behavior modification like working toward a reward • Difficulty acting in pro-social manner Source: Springfield Children in Poverty Project Interviews, Oct. 06- Jan 07
Health Picture:Educator’s Perspective • Poor condition of overall health and dental hygiene • Frequently ill • Chronic head lice Source: Springfield Children in Poverty Project Interviews, Oct. 06- Jan 07
Parental Involvement: Educator’s Perspective • Poverty background families tend to have more “crises type” issues • Prone to cancel appointments or don’t show up • Lack of reliable transportation interferes with school involvement Source: Springfield Children in Poverty Project Interviews, Oct. 06- Jan 07
Childhood Voices of Hope • “When I grow up, I’ll be tall with lots of muscles. I’ll be like a super hero. Then I can make bad things disappear…like grown-up problems and stuff.” “When I grow up I’d like to ride a bus…a purple bus. Things will be different when I grow up.” “it will all be good then.” Source: Springfield Children in Poverty Project Interviews, Oct. 06- Jan 07