The topic was the current economic recession. The emphasis, how is it effecting our children?
The answer is vast and multifaceted and a large YES, it is. The nationwide (and Canada) response is that yes, children are paying a high price.
Hospitals are reporting a increase in the cases of child abuse and neglect. Kids are manifesting the anxiety they see and witness in their parents and teachers. Just when our children need more responsible adults to talk with and provide security, those very positions are being cut by county governments. Child Protective Service workers, social workers,teachers, and school counselors are all jobs that are on the chopping block these days.
We are really giving our children a raw deal. But who can help them? We all can. We all should.
Now more than ever our nation's children are without adequate health care coverage. If that doesn't seem to be a startling fact, consider this: if kids go without a regular dental check-up for several years simple problems that would have been caught and remedied snowball into infections, rotten teeth and an overall decline in health. The problem becomes systemic and expensive, far more expensive than a routine dental cleaning would have been, but those are exactly the expenses that are forcefully being cut from family budgets by the loss of health coverage and jobs.
New York City and Washington, DC are seeing a large unprecedented increase in public school enrollment, and not so coincidentally, private school enrollment is at an all time low. There are more children in need of free breakfast and lunch programs which are underfunded as it is. Who is picking up the slack here? Children must eat. The fact is that a lot of kids are going hungry and that impacts every part of their life.
Teachers are picking up a lot of the slack and helping kids with urgent needs for supplies, clothing and food. I doubt this is just an issue in my region.
Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News are spending this week focusing on how the recession is hurting children nationwide. The story won't be confined to five short news hours either. The conversation continues among network executives, journalists and the SV Moms who have vowed to get the word out and rally regional resources for our children.