Child Abuse and Neglect
- In 2011, 876 New Hampshire children were victims of child abuse and neglect.
- Child abuse and neglect costs America $124 billion a year and contributes to poverty, crime, and alcohol and drug abuse.
- For every dollar spent by the federal government in subsidies for the out-of-home placement of children, 14 cents is spent on prevention and protective services.
- From 2007 to 2011, Congress cut federal funding to states to treat and protect abused and neglected children by 17.5%.
- There are only 700 families in New Hampshire who use Home Visiting, a program proven to help reduce child abuse and neglect.
- Despite receiving some federal support, New Hampshire cut $238 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) in 2011.
Home visits help reduce child abuse and helps the economy- Over time, improvements in birth outcomes, maternal and child health, and reductions in child abuse and neglect, poverty and crime can return as much as $5.70 per taxpayer dollar invested.
Home Visiting New Hampshire (HVNH) is a preventive program that provides health, education, support and linkages to other community services for Medicaid-eligible pregnant women and their families in their homes. Eighteen community-based HVNH programs across the state serve over 700 families per year. Together families and home visitors talk about concerns such as stopping smoking, depression and access to reproductive healthcare. Families get support in their roles as their child's first and best teacher and learn ways to help their child grow and learn.
The eighteen community-based agencies across New Hampshire provide HVNH services to Medicaid-eligible pregnant women and Medicaid-eligible families with children up to the age of one.
Particular emphasis is placed on:
- Adolescents who are pregnant or are new moms
- Women under age 25 who are pregnant or are new moms
- Women pregnant with their first child
- Women at risk for having problems during their pregnancy
- Pregnant women or mothers with substance abuse problems
- Families at risk for child abuse and neglect
- Parent education programs have been shown to reduce child abuse – Parent training aimed at child-rearing competence and stress management have been proven to reduce risk factors associated with physical child abuse.
- Proven therapeutic treatments to abused and neglected children can minimize the long-term effects of abuse.
While the recently enacted comprehensive health reform bill will ensure that most children and youth receive timely and comprehensive medical attention, those children covered under Medicaid may be at risk if states’ budget problems continue.
- In 2011, 54,800 children received some form of government funded health care and 19,900 were uninsured.
- As a result of the health care reform bill, those under the age of 26 can remain on their parent’s health insurance, and insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
- The Affordable Care Act does require coverage for basic pediatric services, including oral health, but 53% of children enrolled in Medicaid in New Hampshire do not receive dental care.
Immunizations save money, improve children’s health throughout their lives, and provide substantial economic benefits – The Centers for Disease Control estimates that every $1 spent on childhood immunizations, an average of $18.40 is saved.
- Insuring all children, as well as adults, will improve the economy – The potential economic value to be gained in better health outcomes from continuous coverage for all Americans is estimated to be between $65 and $130 billion each year.
- And because dental care is the single greatest unmet need for health services among children,
- ensure that Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program – the programs that serve low-income children – work better for kids and for providers so that insurance coverage translates into real access to needed care
- expand sealant programs for kids who need them most
- help expand access to optimally fluoridated water
- expand the number of professionals who can provide dental care to low-income children
Early Care and Education
Millions of infants, toddlers, and young children lack access to affordable, high-quality early education opportunities.
- High-quality early eduction increases a child’s chances of success in school and in life. Children who attend are less likely to be held back a grade or need special education. They have higher earnings as adults and are less likely to commit crime.
- Nearly 50 % of all kindergarten teachers report that at least half of their students come to school with problems that hinder their success.
- New Hampshire is one of the few states without state-funded pre-school.
- 25,133 New Hampshire children under age 6 have mothers in the workforce.
- Full time child care workers make about $21,310 a year, while the state average is about $45,580
- Average child care costs in New Hampshire are $4,000 for school-aged children (before/after school care) and $11,000 for infants.
- Toddlers who receive quality care have fewer behavioral problems and score higher on math and reading tests than children who attended low quality care.
- Just 7% of New Hampshire child care centers are accredited.
- In New Hampshire, Head Start serves only about 30% of eligible children, age birth to five years and their families.
In 2011 Head Start in New Hampshire received $11,580,274 from Administration for Children and Families for Five Head Start programs and $3,075,637 for Early Head Start programs. New Hampshire also received $225,364 for training and technical assistance to Head Start/Early Head Start programs and $125,000 for the Head Start Collaboration Office.
- All state funding was eliminated in 2011 by the New Hampshire State Legislature. This money funds the enrollment of 1,764 children.
- Pre-Kindergarten Education Programs Lead to Better Future Educational Performance – Low-income children who attend pre-school programs perform at higher levels than those who do not. Children attending high-quality programs had one or more of the following outcomes: lower special education rates, lower grade retention rates, higher achievement test scores, higher high school graduation rates, and higher post secondary enrollment rates.
- Pre-Kindergarten Education Programs Help the Economy Thrive – The average benefits from a universally accessible pre-school education program at ages 3 and 4 are estimated to be at least $25,000 per child, substantially more than the costs. The estimated cost- per-child (mixing half day, school day, and full day programs) is $8-$17K for two years.
- High quality early learning opportunities are one of the most cost effective ways to improve children's education, health, and economic outcomes, providing nearly a $7 return for every $1 spent.
Millions of children and youth who are in unsupervised situations at the end of each school day would benefit from participation in quality after-school programs, where learning continues in a safe, supervised environment.
There are a total of 41,204 working mothers with any children under the age of 6 in the state of New Hampshire, and 61% of these working mothers, (24,740), have only children under the age of 6 that need child care.
- On school days, the hours from 3-6 PM are peak hours for:
- kids to smoke, drink, do drugs, and engage in sex,
- innocent kids to become crime victims,
- 16 and 17 year olds to be in a car crash,
- teens to commit crimes.
Researchers found in one study that for every dollar invested in after school programs saves taxpayers up to $3.22 in crime-related costs.
- Participants in after school programs are much more likely to go on to high-quality high schools compared to non-participants (65 percent vs. 26 percent). Those who attend often are also more likely to be promoted to tenth grade on time (92 percent vs. 81 percent). Earning promotion to tenth grade on time is a key predictor of high school graduation. (Policy Studies Associates, December 2006)
- A compliment of early education and participation in after school programs can reduce initiating drug use among youth by nearly 50 percent (45.8) while reducing the likelihood of them skipping school by half.