A quarter of a million children live in poverty in South Carolina. And their economic status has a direct impact on their overall well-being.
That’s why a new coalition was started. The group will look at minimizing the effects of poverty on children.
“There are so many domains that intercept each other that any group working alone would largely unsuccessful,” said Dr. Christine Turley, chairperson for SC Child Well-Being Coalition.
The group met for the first time earlier this month to see how each organization involved can help minimize the effects of poverty on a child.
“We won’t be able to strengthen families if we can’t strengthen education, we cant’ strengthen communities if we can’t strengthen families, we can’t educate children if they’re not healthy.. all of these issues intertwine and intersect in ways that are really important and together we will have a chance at making an impact,” explained Dr. Turley.
Statistics show that children in poverty graduate at lower rates than those in affluent homes. That’s why education is one area of impact the coalition is looking to address, along with the impact on families, the economy, communities and health.
Kimberly Seals with the Department of Health and Environmental Control discussed the connection between poverty and poor health.
Seals added, “We know that poverty may prevent someone from having the resources to obtain an appointment, having the resources to obtain food or even the resources for housing. So even though children may not be the bread winner in the home. They’re still effected by a lack of income in the home.”
The coalition will work on developing programs and policies to improve outcomes for children living in poverty. South Carolina ranks 39th in the nation for overall child well-being.