Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Press Release

Office of Children’s Mental Health Focuses on Eliminating Childhood Poverty


By - Mar 9th, 2021 12:08 pm

Office of Children’s Mental Health Director Linda Hall today announces the publication of a new fact sheet Supporting Child Well-being through Eliminating Childhood Poverty, and details what our communities, schools, parents, and policymakers can do to make a difference.

  • Growing up in poverty is detrimental to a child’s overall well-being, affecting virtually every area of their life.
  • When we stop the cycle of intergenerational poverty, children have an increased opportunity to attend a post-secondary program, achieve higher incomes, live in stable housing, and have better quality and length of life.
  • When the cost of childcare, economic safety net programs, and tax burdens placed on low-income workers is considered, the percentage of families living in poverty has been increasing since 2015.
  • Adults in households that are struggling often work as cashiers, nursing assistants, laborers, and security guards. Any change in expenses may push them into poverty.
  • 70% of Single Female with Children households don’t have enough income to make ends meet, but earn too much for safety net programs.
  • Food insecurity and housing instability plague children in poverty, but the pandemic makes it more difficult for families to provide basic needs. Black and Brown families are having a harder time providing basic needs than White families.

What We Can Do

  • Parents can encourage and support children to complete high school and avoid risk factors for poverty.
  • Communities can remove barriers to child-care and transportation so adults have access to more job opportunities.
  • Schools can teach children how to build strong relationship skills to ensure successful school and employment outcomes.
  • Policymakers can raise the minimum wage and Earned Income Tax Credits.

See the complete fact sheet

See previous fact sheets

Mentioned in This Press Release


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