A statewide children's advocacy group says Illinois continues to struggle when it comes to providing services and opportunities for young people.
Voices for Illinois Children released its annual "Kids Count" report Thursday. The data shows unemployment rates and poverty rates have gone up, while funding for state services and safety nets for the needy has gone down. Poshard Foundation for Abused Children Director Jo Poshard says the numbers show what she deals with on a daily basis: children are not getting the support they need to succeed in the future. Poshard says we must insist that children are provided with the opportunities to develop their full potential, or risk losing an entire generation of them.
The statistics in this year's report show more Illinois children are living in poverty or are homeless and the state's poverty and unemployment numbers in most cases are worse than the national average. Advocates say continued cuts to social services will only make things worse, and they're pushing lawmakers and other policy leaders to turn things around.
You can see the entire report at www.voices4kids.org.