ORLANDO, Fla. – Despite progress in reducing childhood poverty, almost 400,000 kids are still impacted across the state.
The effects from growing up in an under-resourced community can be devastating, with children from poor backgrounds more likely to experience abuse, suffer from poor health and drop out of school.
Andry Sweet, CEO of Children’s Home Society of Florida, joined anchor Justin Warmoth on “The Weekly” to break down the staggering number of local children impacted and how the nonprofit works to keep families together and out of foster care.
“There are almost 400,000 children who are living in poverty in Florida,” Sweet said. “Half of them are living in only 15 percent of zip codes, and several of those zip codes are here in Central Florida. 58,000 children just in Orange County are living in poverty.”
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Sweet said the majority of entries into foster care stem from neglect, but they’re often fixable family issues. CHS’s goal is to address those challenges on the front end and lift up the next generation, so they can be successful and break the cycle of poverty.
“That intergenerational cycle of poverty continues, so the odds are stacked against them,” Sweet said. “At Children’s Home Society, what we’re trying to do is change those odds to opportunities.”
Watch the full interview in the video player above.
You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below: