Louisiana Needs To Do Better When It Comes To Protecting Our Kids
Sadly, Louisiana doesn't seem to be getting any better when it comes to taking care of some of our most vulnerable, our state's at-risk youth.
What does the term 'at-risk' youth mean?
Study.com says the phrase 'at-risk youth' refers to 'a child whose chances at a successful transition to adult life are hindered by certain circumstances or factors experienced during their childhood.'
What are the specific factors or circumstances that contribute to a child becoming 'at-risk?'
This question isn't as easy to answer because there is a multitude of reasons including poverty, lack of education, a poor home environment, lack of food or access to healthcare, etc...
How does Louisiana rank when it comes to at-risk youth?
In short, not very well. WalletHub.com recently published a study that looked at indicators that contribute to a child becoming 'at-risk' and found that Louisiana is the state with the most at-risk youth in the country, again, for 2023. As in, we've held this title for several years now. To give you a better understanding of how big this problem is for our state, I went back several years to see how Louisiana ranked in the past. According to what I could find, Louisiana had the most at-risk youth in 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019. That is a CRYING SHAME!
How can we help at-risk youth in Louisiana?
WalletHub measured sixteen key factors with regard to at-risk youth and we came up short the majority of the time. If you ask me, it all starts with family. Having a stable home environment with access to quality food, health care, and education should be a 'given' for our children.
Am I alone here? Are there other things our leaders and legislators can do to make sure our children are equipped with the tools they need to succeed? As a TBRI Advocate and volunteer for Volunteers for Youth Justice, I know for a fact that there are plenty of people in our community dedicated to meeting our at-risk kids where they're at to help them grow and prosper.
I would really like to hear your thoughts on the matter. One thing I know for sure is that this trend should not be allowed to continue. Message me using our app or email me at email@example.com.