A leading child advocate in Vermont says that a recent survey ranking the state as 3rd in the nation for child well-being has some caveats.
The annual ‘Kids Count Data Book’ gave Vermont high marks in the areas of health and education.
Carlen Finn, executive director of the child advocacy organization, Voices for Vermont’s Children, says she’s pleased with the ranking. But Finn is concerned that 17 percent of Vermont’s children live in poverty. She does say, however, that the state has the ability to lessen the effects of poverty.
"We have across the state what are called benefit cliffs," Finn says. "And so for working families, that are low-wage earners, they call fall back into or be in poverty without the support of programs such as child care."
According to ‘Voices for Vermont’s Children’, the state’s rate of childhood poverty has increased by nearly 35 percent since 2007, affecting 21,000 children.