Poverty makes it tough for children to thrive

Poverty makes it tough for children to thrive

A staggering number of children in our community…in communities across America actually…live in trauma.

Their neighborhoods, streets and parks, even their homes, are places where trauma is a regular part of life. And kids are the ones who often suffer the most.

Traumatic environments often lead to mistreatment of children, and we, understandably, focus first on the incidents of mistreatment.

But a new look by UW researchers at decades of studies is drawing strong correlations between child maltreatment and poverty.

We should hardly be surprised. Many elements of economic disadvantage lead to child abuse and neglect. Parents and caregivers struggle to get by. Poverty leads to tensions and abusive relationships in the home. Drugs and alcohol are often involved. It’s a vicious cycle.

We need to know more. It’s possible income inequality at both ends is a bigger issue, but the crime is often poverty. And that makes it tough to thrive.