Wyoming kids are better off economically than the average American child, according the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest Kids Count report, which tracks child well-being. The study found that only 14-percent of Wyoming children live in poverty, compared to 22-percent nationally.
But Marc Homer with the Wyoming Children’s Action Alliance says those numbers can be misleading.
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.”
A locally produced documentary on the state’s juvenile justice system will air on Wyoming PBS this Sunday.
Marc Homer is the kid’s count director at the Wyoming Children’s Action Alliance, and director of the film “Your Neighbor's Child”. He says the film, which was originally released a year ago, is aimed at spurring change in the state. But Homer says Wyoming still has the highest rate of juvenile incarceration in the U-S.