"More than 1 of every 10 people in the Bay Area today are hungry. But they are not only the visibly famished, digging through the trash in Union Square for the remains of someone’s lunch. They are low-income families that have jobs and housing but have still fallen through the cracks during the Bay Area’s spectacular rebound from the recession, as it has become the country’s richest and most expensive region."
1 in 2 children in California get health care through Medicaid. Medicaid allows 4.63 million Californian kids -- who would not otherwise have access to health care -- to see doctors when they get sick and to get the vaccinations and screenings they need to stay healthy.
“When parents identify, seek, and receive respectful and timely concrete support in times of need, this helps to ensure they and their children receive the basic necessities everyone deserves in order to grow (e.g., healthy food, a safe environment), as well as specialized medical, mental health, social, educational, or legal services.”
The Strengthening Families Approach and Protective Factors Framework: Branching Out and Reaching Deeper
California Poverty Measure (CPM) data from 2013-2015 show that 23% of children statewide lived in poverty and 5% lived in deep poverty. In the absence of social safety net programs, it is estimated that the child poverty rate would have been 14 percentage points higher and the deep poverty rate 13 percentage points higher during this period.
Children in Poverty - California Poverty Measure, by Age Group (California Only)
Participation in the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) leads to healthier babies, more nutritious diets for families, better health care for children, and higher academic achievement for students.
Safety net programs generally supplement earnings to help families avoid severe economic need. These programs—which include cash assistance, nutrition assistance, housing subsidies, and low-income tax credits—make up 44 percent of poor families’ resources statewide and substantially mitigate poverty.
“In a family with two working parents earning low wages, each parent would have to work 147 hours per week to avoid paying more than the federally recommended 7% of income on the cost of child care for their infant.”
The High Cost of Child Care Underscores the Need for Supporting Families With Children of All Ages
Only 19 homes are available for every 100 low-income renters looking in San Mateo County and only 26 homes are available for every 100 looking in Alameda County. This interactive map from Urban Institute shows the number of affordable homes available to low-income renters needing homes across the U.S. View the map to see the gap in your county.
“Parents and caregivers are a child’s first exposure to the world around them. The quality of relationships between children and their parents and caregivers, and the environment in which those relationships develop, play a significant role in a child’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and social development.”
Essentials for Childhood: Creating Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments
“Affordable and stable housing plays a critical role in supporting the health and wellbeing of children. Research from Children’s HealthWatch shows public investment in housing—including housing for homeless families and rental assistance for food-insecure families—improves the health outcomes of vulnerable infants and young children and lowers health care spending.”