“When families are in poverty and they don’t have access to services, child abuse is more likely to happen. Teen births, or parents that haven’t had training from their own families or from anywhere else in terms of what to expect in child development, and they then are overly-frustrated by some things that the rest of us might know are normal, like toilet training, those types of issues or challenges with kids,” Fox says.
The report also says the number of Peoria county children in poverty jumped 36-percent from 2006 to 2011. That’s compared to 19-percent state wide. The state is looking to cut more than $2 billion from programs that serve children in the next fiscal budget. Fox says preventing state cuts and working with local groups to better share services are vital to improving the mental and physical health for children across the state.