August 6, 2013: Although these problems are not new, it seems that I have been reading weekly in the news about increasing poverty in America among families with children….I’m sure that if I listed links to recent articles just over the past few months here that it would astonish most readers when seeing them en masse. One would be tempted to believe, in fact, that the issue of childhood poverty and its impacts on society would be at the forefront of public debate. . . but the opposite is true.
The issue is not at the forefront of public debate. Instead, we are outraged and offended by daily acts of violence reported by news media, often with the question “Why?” We blame adults for their behavior and we blame young adults too, when their behaviors simply personify the poor outcomes of negligent social policies. The results could easily have been anticipated; research has been tracking these issues for years. Instead of asking “Why?”, what I would like to see instead is more attention paid to the research – more media articles that link the failures of our society to provide adequate supports to families raising children in increasingly difficult economic times to the adults their children sometimes become, who make the news due to anti-social, dysfunctional, or criminal behavior.
There is a multitude of well-researched studies linking adult behavior to diverse impacts of our emotional, nutritional, and physical environments from birth through early adulthood. Why do we continue to be outraged and offended by the actions of adults whom we failed when they were helpless children? We should instead blame the voting public and political leadership that valued big business over children, lobbyists over homeless advocates, the rich over the poor, the educated over the uneducated, white over black. . .I will be adding more links as they come across my desk…. Tanya Tull, ScD – Partnering for Change
Poverty as a childhood disease – Perri Klass, M.D. (May 13, 2013) NY Times
America squanders its human capital – Susan Ochshorn (August 5, 2013) LA Times
‘Town Without Pity’ – Poverty Blame Game – Charles M. Blow (August 10, 2013) NY Times
Losing Ground: Tucson Kids Pay Poverty’s High Price – Stephanie Innes (August 4, 2013) Arizona Daily Star
Homeless Mothers, Children Sleep Outside Philly Housing Office – Denise Nakano & David Change (August 21, 2013) NBC10 Philadelphia