California is home to 56,138 foster children. Another 300,000 live informally in kinship care -- and 91% of all kinship families live below the poverty line. In California, a child is born into poverty every 5 minutes.
Over 2 million kids – 24.3% of the state’s total child population – live in poverty, and over 1 million of those children (11%) lives in “deep poverty” – the equivalent of a family of four living on $2 a day.
In the last four years, 1 million California children (7%) have been affected by home foreclosures; 1.2 million children have at least one parent who has lost his/her job. The Children’s Defense Fund tells us a child is abused or neglected every 6 minutes.
In California, every 3 hours, a child dies before his or her first birthday. Every 20 hours, a child or teen is killed by gunfire. At some time during the year, over 200,000 children between the ages of 12-17 will be homeless.
The challenge is clear. Our 9.25 million children needs us – all of us: experienced and compassionate professionals, volunteers, advocates, legislators, families – to collaborate, cooperate and communicate.
The role of California’s Children is to break the silos and feed that conversation.