Young Parents in Arkansas Face Uphill Battle

Chicot Memorial

LITTLE ROCK, AR (Ben Caxton) — The sleepless nights and increased costs that come with parenthood are a rude awakening for any parent – but the challenge is often greater for young parents. Stephanie Carson has more on what Arkansas as a state can do to support the advancement of parents and their children. A new report released Tuesday, called “Opening Doors for Young Parents” by the Annie E. Casey Foundation underscores the need for increased programs to support people between the ages of 18 and 24 who have children. Rich Huddleston with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families says if they’re not supported, the odds are stacked against them. “What we know about young parents at this age who have kids is that all the big milestones in their life and all the big challenges are really happening all at once, and it makes these parents and their kids especially vulnerable.” Having 13 percent of people aged 18-24 as parents places Arkansas above the national average of 10 percent. There are 38-thousand children living in young parent households and 34-thousand such parents. One-third of those are people of color, who face additional challenges of discrimination and systemic inequities. The report recommends states provide increased access to child care, housing, and employment opportunities.

 


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