Story Behind the Curve
Strategies to improve these indicators
Why Is This Important?
Family stability is an important factor in a child’s development as well as health and social well-being. Stable housing not only impacts how a child develops emotionally, but also influences their overall ability to develop to their full potential and live healthier lives. In a well-developed study conducted in 1988 by Brooks-Gunn, Lee and Schnur, authors concluded that having access to resources such as medical, education, food and the ability to form secure relationships with adults are all major contributors that can be beneficial to a child in the long term. Children who are raised in unstable homes are more likely to demonstrate negative behaviors and engage in other high risk activity such as drug use, juvenile crime and truancy.
In a national study titled “The Effect of Poverty on Child Development and Educational Outcomes” conducted in 2000 by Engle and Black states that children who reside in impoverished homes are faced with chronic stress, which interferes with successful adjustment to developmental tasks including school achievement. The study further suggests that school readiness is critical to academic achievement later in life.In Prince George's County, there are 863,420 residents with an average household size of 2.52. Of these homes, 12,259 are residing in federally assisted units. There are 297,409 rental homes currently occupied with 14, 870 families living below the poverty limit. It is reported that children reside in 39.2% of these units, who are directly impacted by these conditions. It should also be noted that Prince George’s County holds the largest number of federally assisted housing communities in the state of Maryland.