Although children are not old enough to vote, they are often impacted by the actions and inactions of government officials. Everything from healthcare and school funding formulas to affordable housing and police relations are somehow connected to kids. Therefore, adults must speak out on the behalf of young people. By joining other child-advocating and child-serving organizations, Allies for Children propels the needs of children and youth to the forefront of policy discussions. Our voices are stronger together.
Children and youth make up almost a quarter of Pennsylvania’s population. In Allegheny County, there are approximately 265,000 residents under the age of 19. Allies for Children wants all of these children to have the opportunities they need to grow into healthy, educated and caring adults.
Of the three million children who call the commonwealth home:
- 514,000 ages 0-17 are living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL);
- Nearly 15,000 are living in foster care;
- Nearly 139,000 are uninsured;
- 120,642 of the 175,844 eligible 3- and 4-year olds do not have access to high-quality, publicly funded pre-k programs;
- 320,000 participated in an afterschool program–of children not enrolled, 811,954 would participate if more programs were accessible.
Currently, there are almost 120,000 Pennsylvanians between the ages of 16 and 24 who dropped out of high school before earning their diplomas. Each year, more than 30,000 additional young people do not graduate with their class. That’s 166 students leaving school daily.
According to the 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book, Pennsylvania ranks 18th nationally for overall child well-being–a continuous decline from 17th in 2015 and 16th in 2014. This is why Allies for Children works everyday to make every child a priority.