More children in Pennsylvania are calling high-poverty areas home, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Joan Benso, president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, says the KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot shows that nationally, the number of children living in those communities rose from 9 percent to 11 percent during the past decade.
"But Pennsylvania actually did worse. We also grew to 11 percent of our children living in a community with concentrated poverty, but 10 years ago we were doing better than the rest of the nation."
The change marks a 27 percent increase. In three out of four of those homes, Benso says, at least one parent is employed. She says it points to a need for Pennsylvania to prioritize programs that help families having a hard time making ends meet, such as subsidized child care and free health insurance for children through Medicaid.
Benso says the high-poverty communities, where an estimated 64,000 Pennsylvania children live, lack the infrastructure they need to thrive.
The full report is online at aecf.org.