New Census figures shows child poverty remains high
Child advocates demand greater support for struggling families in light of new data
WASHINGTON – Voices for America’s Children, the nation’s largest network of multi-issue child advocacy organizations, demanded that Congress bolster aid for low-income families following the release of new Census data showing that child poverty remained high in the past year.
“Today’s Census release shows that more than one in five American children lives in poverty,” said Bill Bentley, president and CEO of Voices for America’s Children. “The message we should take from this is clear: struggling families still need help in the wake of the recession. Congress must stop playing games of brinksmanship with the federal budget and instead strengthen the fraying social safety net.”
The number of children in poverty in 2011 was 16.1 million, or 21.9 percent, according to the Census release. In response, child advocates nationwide called on Congress to bolster anti-poverty programs, which have come under attack in recent years. A proposed federal budget coming out of the U.S. House of Representatives this spring called for massive cuts to social programs, getting 62 percent of its cost savings from cuts to programs that are designed to help low-income families.
“Around one in four children in Texas lives in poverty, and has even before the recession hit,” said Eileen Garcia, chief executive officer of Voices member organization Texans Care for Children. “Child development experts have shown how even brief periods of deprivation in the early years can have lasting consequences. We must protect the programs that are protecting America’s children from the worst effects of poverty, especially in light of today’s figures.”
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As the nation’s largest network of multi-issue child advocacy organizations, Voices for America’s Children (Voices) has been on the forefront of every major child policy victory for the past quarter-century. With 63 members nationwide, Voices speaks up for kids, and mobilizes and advocates for public policies to improve the lives of all children, especially those most vulnerable, throughout the United States. Visit us at www.voices.org.
Voices is a founding member of the Children’s Leadership Council, a coalition of more than 50 leading national policy and advocacy organizations. www.childrensleadershipcouncil.com.