Census Report says Recession Taking Toll on Families, More Receiving Assistance

A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau says that the number of American families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding has increased by more than 20 percent since 2006. The findings from the report state that in 2009 the rate of families in the United States participating in the federal welfare program surged from 3.8 percent in 2006 to 4.8 just three years later. The report, entitled “Comparing Program Participation of TANF and non-TANF Families Before and During a Time of Recession,” compared data collected in Sept. 2006 and Aug. 2009 to assess the effects of the economic downturn on families with children under the age of 18 in the United States.

Photo credit: khteWisconsin/Flickr

Young and Poor in America

Some 46 million people (a number representing more than 15 percent of the population) in the nation now live below the poverty line. Dismal figures released by the Census Bureau last week not only brought news of a record number of poor living in poverty in the United States, they also revealed that young people have suffered more than any other group during the nation’s economic downturn. Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 saw their family’s income fall 15.3 percent between 2007 and 2010, the most precipitous decline of any group. They were followed by those aged 45 to 54, who witnessed a fall off of 9.2 percent, while those 65 and older saw incomes rise by more than 5 percent, according to the Census. Poverty experts have good reasons why the young have absorbed much of the pain.

Opening slide to DCANP Sustainability Meetings

One Agency’s Budget Struggles Typical of Nation

Alabama’s only agency designated to prevent child abuse and neglect, among the many juvenile justice departments around the nation grappling with a smaller budget, will serve nearly half the number of kids in 2012 as they did in 2011. The Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention (DCANP) is preparing to cut 74 community-based programs around the state when the new budget takes effect October 1. The cuts bring the total number of programs to just 101 for FY 2012, compared to 227 funded in FY 2005. The reduction in services represents roughly 14,000 kids that will no longer have access to community-based prevention programs.

“I’m really concerned with the burden of the system as a whole,” says Kelley Parris-Barnes, director of the DCANP. “When you take the community-level programs out you don’t have the capacity in the state to do it.”

The DCANP doesn’t deliver services directly.

New Interactive Mapping Tool Shows Who Your Neighbors Are

If you’re looking for something to think about over the holidays, this could be it. The New York Times has used Census Bureau data to map out the distribution of racial and ethnic groups across the country. You can literally put in your zip code and see the breakdown in your town. You can even scroll your mouse over different areas to see detailed percentages. This could be useful to schools, police departments, juvenile courts and those who may be interested in the disproportionate minority contact problem facing the nation.