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The State of Children in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Bar Association Outreach to Children Initiative. Support Center for Child Advocates. Volunteer Lawyer Program for Abused and Neglected Children First Case in 1971 Child Advocates Incorporated 1977

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the state of children in pennsylvania

The State of Children in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Bar Association

Outreach to Children Initiative

support center for child advocates
Support Center for Child Advocates
  • Volunteer Lawyer Program for Abused and Neglected Children
  • First Case in 1971
  • Child Advocates Incorporated 1977
  • Collaborative Teams of Attorneys & Social Workers
  • Represented 680 Children in 2005
  • Office: Philadelphia PA
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation: Kids Count 2006
  • Child Abuse and Neglect State Profiles
  • Children of Immigrants: Facts and Figures May 2006
  • Children of Immigrant Families
  • Dependent Youth Aging Out of Foster Care in Pennsylvania
  • DPW Child Abuse Report 2005
  • Foster Care: Voices from the Inside
  • Kinship Report: Assessing the Needs of Relative Caregivers and the Children in their Care, 2003. Casey Family Programs
  • National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, Wave 1
  • National Data and Analysis System: Children of Color in the Welfare System
  • 2005 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS)
  • Center for the Promotion of Mental Health in the Juvenile Justice
  • Report Card 2006: The Well-Being of Children in Philadelphia
  • Smith, JM. “Foster Care Children with Disabilities” Journal of Health and Social Policy: 2002
  • Sullivan, P.M. Knutson, J.F. “The Prevalence of Disabilities and Maltreatment Among Runaway Children” Child Abuse and Neglect: 2000.
  • Supporting Justice: A Report on the Pro Bono Work of America’s Lawyers
  • U.S. Census Bureau
children in pennsylvania
Children in Pennsylvania
  • 2,846,382 children under 18 live in Pennsylvania
  • Children make up 22.9% of the population

key risk factors to a child s well being
Key Risk-Factors to a Child’s Well-Being
  • Living in poverty
  • Living in a single-parent household
  • Being a high school dropout
  • Having difficulty speaking English
  • Living in a high-poverty neighborhood

how pennsylvania measures up
How Pennsylvania Measures Up
  • 14.7% of children live in poverty
  • 23% of children live in single-parent households
  • 17.1% of 16-19 year olds are high school dropouts
  • 2.9% have difficulty speaking English
  • 15.3% live in high-poverty neighborhoods

children and family
Children and Family
  • 68% of children live in married-couple households
  • 23% live in single-parent households (US 31%)
  • 204,909 children live with their grandparents … 39% are cared for solely by their grandparents
  • 32% live in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment (US 33%)

pa children and poverty
PA Children and Poverty
  • Poverty threshold for 2004: A family of 2 adults, 2 children with an income of $19,157
  • 466,000 children live in poverty
  • 17% live below poverty line (18% nationwide)
  • 8% live below 50% of poverty line (8%)
  • 37% live below 200% of poverty line (40%)
  • 20% of children living in poverty do not have health insurance vs. 10% of total child population

percentage of pa children living in poverty broken down by race
Percentage of PA Children living in Poverty broken down by Race:
  • 10.2% of white children (234,935 of 2,242,083)
  • 16.8% of Asian children (9,115 of 55,135)
  • 30.5% of American Indian or Alaskan children (1,559 of 5,093)
  • 35.8% of black or African-American children (129,201 of 380,123)
  • 37.7% of Hispanic children (54,030 of 148,664)
  • 42.5% of children of some other race (30,094 of 73,080)

immigration in pennsylvania
Immigration in Pennsylvania
  • 4.1% of Pennsylvania’s population is foreign born
  • Children of immigrants are the fastest growing segment of the child population nationwide

children of immigrants
Children of Immigrants
  • More likely to be experience at least one of the five key risk factors
  • 54% live in families with incomes of less than twice federal poverty level
  • Less likely to receive food stamps, cash welfare, housing assistance
  • Only 62% of 19 year olds with parents of South and Central American descent have graduated high school
  • Nationwide, 26% live in linguistically isolated households

education in pennsylvania
Education in Pennsylvania
  • 31% of fourth graders score below basic reading level (ranked 14th of the 50 states)
  • 23% of eight graders score below basic reading level (23/50)
  • 46% of children live in homes without internet access (52% nationally)
  • 5% of teens are high school drop outs (8% nationally)

highest education for 18 24 year olds in pa
Highest Education for 18-24 year olds in PA
  • 20.2% have not graduated high school
  • 29.8% have graduated high school or equivalent
  • 36.2% have some college, no degree
  • 13.1% have Associates or Bachelor’s degree
youth risk factors
Youth Risk Factors
  • 6% of teens are not in school or employed (US 9%)
  • 317 out of every 100,000 young adults in Pennsylvania live in juvenile detention and correction facilities, a number that has been rising since 1999 (US 307/100,000)
  • 11% of 11-17 year olds and 46% of 18-26 year olds are binge drinkers
  • 15% of 11-17 year olds and 45% of 18-26 year olds are smokers
  • 6% of 11-17 year olds and 8% of 18-26 year olds use drugs other than marijuana

risks for high school drop outs
Risks for High School Drop-Outs

School dropouts are more likely to:

  • Be unemployed
  • Experience higher levels of early pregnancy
  • Experience substance abuse
  • Require more social services

risks for children charged as delinquents
Risks for Children Charged as Delinquents
  • Experience unaddressed health, mental health, and learning problems
  • Suspended or expelled even if charges are dismissed
  • Not permitted to return or re-enroll in home school
  • Re-arrested if not in school
  • Do not receive adequate education while incarcerated

youth in the juvenile justice system
Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
  • Have substance abuse/dependency rates 2x that of the general population
  • 50-75% have a diagnosable mental health problem; less than 1/3 have been diagnosed when incarcerated
  • 4x the suicide rate of the general population
  • 92% of young women report being emotionally, physically, or mentally abused at some point in their lives

foster care
Foster Care
  • In 2003, 523,062 children in America were living in foster care
  • 21,768 of Pennsylvania’s children were living in foster care
  • Fifth highest number nationwide!
  • Foster children have to move to an average of three different placements during their time in the system

foster care in pennsylvania
Foster Care in Pennsylvania

Compared with national average:

  • 7.5/1000 children are in foster care (v. 7.2)
  • 0.35% are maltreated in foster care (v. 0.49%)
  • 23.5% re-enter foster care (v. 11.40%)
  • 70.1% are reunited with their parent or caregiver within 12 months (v. 69.12%)
  • 16.8% are adopted within 12 months (v. 21.08%)

racial inequity and foster care
Racial Inequity and Foster Care
  • Children in foster care are disproportionately children of color; 33% of nationwide population, but 55% of children in foster care system
  • Children of color are more likely to stay in foster care longer and leave at a slower rate; 61% of children waiting to be adopted are children of color
  • Far less likely to reunite with their families

mental disability and foster care
Mental Disability and Foster Care
  • 30-40% of children in the foster care system should receive special education
  • Because of frequent moves these needs often go unmet or unidentified because special education depends on careful tracking and parental involvement to work successfully

Smith, JM. “Foster Care Children with Disabilities” Journal of Health and Social Policy: 2002

challenges for children in foster care emotional
Challenges for Children in Foster Care: Emotional
  • Most do not know whether they will rejoin their families or become part of a new, permanent family
  • Some blame themselves because they do not understand why they were removed from their birthparents
  • As adults, they are more likely to experience homelessness, unemployment, and other problems

challenges for children in foster care education
Challenges for Children in Foster Care: Education
  • Numerous school placements by age 18
  • Loss of academic progress with each move
  • Higher rates of grade retention
  • Lower scores on standardized tests
  • Higher absenteeism, tardiness, truancy, and dropout rates
  • 2x as likely to drop out
  • High rates of out of school suspension leading to increased juvenile detention

profile of children after one year in foster care
Profile of Children after One Year in Foster Care
  • 45% African-American; 31% white; 17% Hispanic; 7% other
  • Neglect was primary reason (60%) for placement; 41% had experienced more than one of the four main categories of maltreatment: physical abuse, sexual abuse, failure to supervise, failure to provide
  • Average age of children: In traditional foster care: 6; In kinship care: 7; in group care: 10

physical and emotional well being
Physical and Emotional Well-Being
  • 90% were insured by Medicare and had adequate immunizations and dental care
  • However, these children fell below national samples on every measure of cognitive and social development
  • 25-50% of those 2 years and older had behavioral problems v. 17% nationally
  • 40% had social skills categorized as low v. 16% nationally
  • Over 50% of 11-17 had committed a delinquent act
  • Those children who had been sexually abused, were living in a group home, or who were older than 7 were most at risk

youth aging out of foster care
Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
  • Often do not have adequate education to successfully transition
  • Finding housing and paying for healthcare are particularly problematic

kinship care
Kinship Care
  • In Pennsylvania, kinship care is defined as a child living with “someone related in the first, second, or third degree to the parent or stepparent of that child who may be related through blood or marriage and who is at least 21 years of age”
  • 16.6% of PA’s children live in formal or informal kinship care

kinship care is a rising trend
Kinship Care is a Rising Trend
  • Number of available foster care placements has not kept apace of the rise in children needing out of home placements
  • Child welfare agencies taking a more positive view of kinship care
  • Federal and state court rulings recognizing the right of relatives to act as foster parents and be financially compensated accordingly

characteristics of kinship care givers
Characteristics of Kinship-Care Givers
  • Most caregivers are older than 60 and unmarried; majority are grandparents
  • 2/5 have incomes below the poverty level
  • Most take on responsibility during a crisis period
  • Encounter serious financial difficulties because of need for housing, medical services, schooling etc.

characteristics of children living in kinship care emotional
Characteristics of Children living in Kinship Care: Emotional
  • Tend to move fewer times than others in out-of-home placements; Have more contact with siblings and birth parents; Have higher self-esteem
  • However, also tend to have more intense and higher rates of emotional and behavioral problems than the general child population
  • Higher rate of intra-uterine drug and alcohol exposure
  • Lack access to medical and emotional health care

children with disabilities
Children with Disabilities
  • 4.6% of non-institutionalized children in Pennsylvania have one disability
  • 3.7% of these children have a mental disability
  • 1.1% of Pennsylvania’s children have more than one disability

risks for children with disabilities
Risks for Children with Disabilities
  • More likely to suffer sexual, physical, emotional abuse and physical neglect
  • Children with a disability are 3.4 times more likely to suffer maltreatment at home
  • Runaways are disproportionately likely to have a mental disability
  • 90% of youth who commit suicide have at least one major psychiatric disorder

Sullivan, P.M. Knutson, J.F. “The Prevalence of Disabilities and Maltreatment Among Runaway Children” Child Abuse and Neglect: 2000.

child abuse and neglect
Child Abuse and Neglect
  • In 2005, there were 4,390 substantiated reports of child abuse in Pennsylvania
  • 19% of the total reports of suspected abuse
  • 59% of the perpetrators had a parental relationship with the child they abused; 22% had been perpetrators in at least one other case of abuse
  • 11% of the cases involved children who had been abused before

categories of child abuse
Categories of Child Abuse
  • Physical Injury
  • Mental Injury
  • Sexual Injury
  • Physical Neglect

physical abuse
Physical Abuse

“causes a child severe pain or significantly impairs a child’s physical function either temporarily or permanently”

  • 1,095 or 27% of substantiated injuries were physical
  • 40 children died as a result of abuse
  • 34 of these children were under the age of 9
  • 17 of them lived in Philadelphia

mental abuse
Mental Abuse

“a psychological condition, as diagnosed by a physician or license psychologist that renders a child

  • severely anxious, agitated, depressed, socially withdrawn, psychotic or in reasonable fear that his or her life or safety is threatened;
  • or seriously interferes with a child’s ability to accomplish age-appropriate developmental tasks”
  • 60 or 1% of substantiated injuries were the result of mental abuse

sexual abuse
Sexual Abuse

“includes engaging a child in sexually explicit conduct, including the photographing, videotaping, computer depicting or filming, or any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct of children”

  • 4,629 or 65% of substantiated injuries were the result of sexual abuse
  • 58% of these injuries were the result of sexual assault
  • 514 children were raped; 297 were victims of incest

physical neglect
Physical Neglect

“prolonged or repeated lack of supervision or the failure to provide the essentials of life, including adequate medical care”

  • 234 or 3% of substantiated injuries were caused by of physical neglect
  • 13 of the 40 fatalities were the result of physical neglect; 10 of these deaths resulted from a lack of supervision

  • Nationwide, physical neglect is the reason 59.9% of children in foster care enter the system

child s living situation at time of abuse
Child’s Living Situation at Time of Abuse
  • 46% of children were living in a single-parent household
  • 32% were in a two-parent household
  • 11% were living with a parent and a paramour
  • 5% were in foster care
  • 4% were living with a relative

  • 11.8% of Pennsylvania’s population lives in Philadelphia County
  • 370,210 children or 13.0% of Pennsylvania’s total child population lives in Philadelphia

  • 28.5% of Philadelphia’s children live in poverty
  • 25.9% high school drop out rate
  • 6,728 children are in dependency placements; 1,797 are in delinquency placements

children and crime in philadelphia
Children and Crime in Philadelphia
  • 4,433 children and young adults were victims of crime; ¾ of these crimes were violent (rape, homicide, assault, robbery)
  • In 2005, there were 920 gunshot victims between the ages of 7-24
  • In 2005, the number of assaults in public schools went up for the eighth straight year
  • 2,258 youths were arrested for drug related offenses

2005 pennsylvania youth survey pays
2005 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS)
  • 6th, 8th and 10th graders scored lower than the national average in terms of engaging in detrimental behaviors
    • Use and willingness to use drugs, alcohol for younger youths have gone down since 2001
  • 12th graders scored higher than national average in almost all categories
    • Use and willingness to use drugs, alcohol for 12 graders have risen since 2001

pa youth and alcohol
PA Youth and Alcohol
  • Emerged as biggest problem
  • 33.7% of 12th graders binge drank at least once in past 2 weeks; 14.9% overall
  • 9.3% of students reported being drunk or high at school in the past year; 20.1% of 12th graders
  • Rates of alcohol use and binge drinking were higher for students with medium or high symptoms of depression

pa youth and risky behavior
PA Youth and Risky Behavior
  • 11.7% had attacked someone with the intent to harm
  • 2.1% attempted to steal a vehicle
  • 5.1% reported being arrested
  • 9.6% reported being suspended
  • 5.5% reported selling drugs
  • 2.4% reported bringing a weapon to school
  • 7.0% reported belonging to a gang with a name

pro bono
Pro Bono
  • 93% of lawyers surveyed responded that pro bono is “something that lawyers should do”
  • 66% provided “Tier 1” pro bono: free legal services to people of limited means or to the organizations that support them
  • 18% provided “Tier 2” pro bono: free legal services to other entities or legal services at a reduced rate
  • De-Motivators: perceived lack of time, employer discouragement, lack of expertise

support center for child advocates49
Support Center forChild Advocates
  • 1900 Cherry StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19103
  • Tel: 215-925-1913
  • Frank P. Cervone, Executive Director(tel. ext. 130)