The Annie E. Casey Foundation has just released its 25th annual Kids Count survey. And while Virginia has made progress in the areas of education and overall health, it still suggests that more children are living in impoverished homes and lack the community make-up or family foundation to help increase their likelihood of living successful lives.
The survey ranks the state in four categories. “Health” and “Education” show improvements. For instance, under “Health,” there’s a drop in teen pregnancy rates. But there were declines in the “Economic Well-Being,” and “Family and Community” categories. Ted Groves is the Kids Count Director at Voices for Virginia's Children. He says much of that relates to the increased number of single-parent homes. He says raising a child on one income is difficult.
He says it's unlikely that trend will revert back to the two-parent norm soon. So a solution is to find ways to support single parents.
Another contributing factor is the number of people living near poverty. Groves says more Virginians now spend 30-percent or more of their income on housing-which makes it challenging to meet other family needs. Additionally, the child poverty rate has risen to 15 percent.