MEDFORD, Ore. — According to the group Children First for Oregon, nearly one in four children in Oregon are living in poverty. 23 percent of children in poverty. The study defines the poverty line as an annual income of $19,970 or less for a family of three.
Experts say the 23 percent poverty average for children in the state is above the national average. Research hasn’t shown much improvement in the poverty figures in several years.
Executive Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, said kids in these conditions are at much higher risk long term.
“If you’re not secure about where your next meal is coming from or where your next bed might be. these effect brain development and cause long term negative effects to children,” said Mylenek.
Experts say children living in poverty have a significantly lower high school graduation rates, and are more likely to develop chronic health issues.
Children First for Oregon says they are reaching out to policymakers to re-examine state priorities and address the problem of childhood poverty with urgency by ensuring that full-time work pays sufficiently to sustain a family, by removing barriers to employment for parents, and by growing services that see families through periods of hardship.