A few weeks ago, we reported that victims of domestic violence are staying in shelters longer than they used to, in part because it’s gotten harder for them to find jobs and affordable housing. We turn now to a different aspect of domestic violence: children. When a victim decides to leave an abuser, there are often battles over custody. Dona
Nationally and in Wyoming, more children are being cared for by Grandparents or other family members.
Children end up being cared for by relatives or close family friends because of military deployments, the death of a parent, substance abuse or mental illness, or child abuse and neglect. The Annie E. Casey Foundation says some four thousand Wyoming children are being cared for by a family member. Wyoming Kids Count Director Marc Homer says these can be excellent guardians for children, but he notes that state policies can be challenging for these caregivers.
A new report from the Wyoming Children’s Action Alliance says between 2005 and 2010, the number of children living in poverty jumped from 11 percent to 14 percent. Marc Homer is with the Children’s Action Alliance. He says the biggest spike came in 2009 and 10 when the nations recession began to catch up to the state, and childhood poverty jumped from 13 percent to 19 percent.
“Certainly I think it’s the recession that’s hit the United States and its impacted Wyoming,” says Homer. “So we’re seeing a slowing of the economy and this trickles down to families in our communities.”