The Children’s Defense Fund is actively trying to secure the future by investing in every child by supporting six priorities. Their main priority is to end child poverty. The CDF’s website states that “In the richest nation on earth, 9.4 million children still are without health coverage and nearly 13 million live in poverty — 5.5 million of them in extreme poverty.” Some families aren’t even able to meet a child’s basic and nutritional needs falling below the official poverty line in absolute poverty. Poor children account for 17.7% percent of the population of children in Florida and 18.3% of the population of children in the United States. One of the saddest statistics provided is that a child is abused, neglected or born in to poverty every 36 seconds in the United States. Reading that statistic made me feel horrible, because I didn’t think the percentage was so high in the U.S.
Foster care is another one of CDF’s main priorities, as well as another problem families’ encounter. Each year, more than 800,000 children spend time in foster care, according to CDF. Children in foster care have come from violent homes or just a dysfunctional home where basic needs couldn’t be met usually due to poverty. In Florida alone there are over 30,000 children in foster care as of September 2006. The Children’s Defense Fund states that the total number of children in foster care continues to increase because fewer children are leaving, being adopted or placed in permanent homes.
It’s no wonder as to why CDF wants to secure the future for children by preventing and reducing the stated statistics. There is a link in the increasing number of children in poverty and in foster care. CDF’s main priority of ending child poverty is vital to all of the other priorities. It seems as though reducing poverty will ultimately reduce other issues, such as the increasing number of children in foster care.