On May 22nd the Leon County Commission will receive a report put together by staff that provides an overview of existing research relative to issues impacting children in Leon County.
The Board requested the report at their March 27, 2018 as a way to evaluate the need for the creation of a Children’s Services Council as provided in Florida statutes. The 22 page agenda item addresses research in four areas that include economic well-being, education, health, and family & community.
This is the first of four reports by Tallahassee Reports that will summarize the information provide in each of the categories in an effort to make it easier for interested citizens to digest the information. The first and only public hearing for the proposed ordinance that will adopt language to be placed on the ballot in November is on June 19, 2018
The table of economic indicators that will be presented at the Leon County Commission meeting is shown below. The table compares various Leon County indicators of economic well-being with the same indicators at the state-level.
The information comes from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which is an ongoing survey that provides vital demographic information on a yearly basis.
Of the eleven indicators of economic well-being included, Leon County outperformed or was consistent with the state-level data in all but three: (1) child poverty, (2) percent of those eligible receiving Women, infants, and Children (WIC) services, and (3) the percent of single male households with children living below the ALICE threshold.
According to the 2012-2016 survey, 23.3% of children in Leon County lived in a household where the total income for the last year was below the federal poverty threshold. This compares to 19.4% at the state-level.
The statistic that deviates the most from the state comparison is the measure of working married households with children that face economic hardship as defined by the ALICE threshold.
The indicators show that 10% of these households face economic hardship in Leon County while 32% do at the state-level.
The table below also includes a list of policies and programs that might be implemented to address the identified needs. These recommendations originated from a Whole Child Leon report and include the following:
• Promote paid parental leave
• Promote livable wage of at least $10 per hour
• Encourage businesses to adopt family friendly policies
• Encourage business practices that support breastfeeding mothers
• Support businesses in low income neighborhoods
• Encourage financial institutions to provide short term low interest loans to prevent predatory lending