Connecticut Missing Opportunities to Give Young Adult Parents and Their Kids a Boost

New Casey Foundation report illuminates needs and barriers facing Connecticut’s young
parents and their children

With limited access to opportunities to advance their education and find
family-sustaining jobs, Connecticut’s 17,000 young adult parents face hurdles to support their
children and fulfill their own potential, according to 
Opening Doors for Young Parents, the latest
KIDS COUNT
® policy report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Click here to read the full report. Listen to coverage of the report on Connecticut Public Radio. Read more about the policy implications of the issues highlighted in the report from the New Haven Register.

 

With limited access to opportunities to advance their education and find
family-sustaining jobs, Connecticut’s 17,000 young adult parents face hurdles to support their
children and fulfill their own potential, according to 
Opening Doors for Young Parents, the latest
KIDS COUNT
® policy report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT grantee in Connecticut, Connecticut Association for
Human Services (CAHS), joined the call for action so these young parents can contribute to the
state’s communities and economy.

The fifty-state report reveals that, at six percent, Connecticut is below the national average (10
percent) of youth ages 18 to 24 who are also young parents.
The report highlights the following statewide trends and areas of concern:
22,000 children in Connecticut have young parents ages 18 to 24.
70 percent of children of young parents in Connecticut live in low-income families, which
is above the national average.
24 percent of young parents ages 18 to 24 have completed an associate degree or
higher.
67 percent of Connecticut’s young parents are people of color, facing challenges
exacerbated by discrimination and systemic inequities, with their children standing to
suffer the most.

“While Connecticut fares well compared to the rest of the nation with a relatively low percent of
youth who are parents, a large majority of the children of our young parents are living below 200
percent of the federal poverty level, signaling that our systems do not offer sufficient two generational opportunities for young parents to obtain the education and training needed to secure jobs that would allow them to support their families,” said CAHS Policy Director Liz Fraser. “Paired with the fact that youth of color are disproportionately represented among young

parents, it’s clear our state must take deliberate steps to ensure these families and children are
not being left behind.”

 

The report spotlights a national population of more than 6 million, including 2.9 million young
adult parents, ages 18 to 24, and 3.4 million children nationwide living with young parents.
Opening Doors for Young Parents illuminates the most common obstacles young adult parents
face, including incomplete education, lack of family-sustaining employment opportunities, lack of
access to quality child care, inadequate and unstable housing and financial insecurity.
These barriers threaten not only these young adults, but also their young children, setting off a
chain of diminished opportunities for two of our nation’s future generations. But the report
includes recommendations for addressing the obstacles that young parents face, most of which
can be driven by policy solutions at the state level.


The Casey Foundation stresses the importance of a two-generation approach to equip young
parents for success. “If we don’t support young people when they become parents, we are
cheating two generations out of having a positive future,” warned Casey Foundation President
and CEO Patrick McCarthy. “We can help young adult parents develop the skills they need to
raise their children, contribute to their communities, and drive our national economy forward.”
CAHS further stresses the importance of helping the state’s young parents access educational
and employment opportunities. In an increasingly competitive workforce landscape, education
can make a significant difference in earning power for families. However, as the data
demonstrate, young adult parents here in Connecticut, like young parents nationwide, do not
have the post-secondary education or specialized skills to obtain family-sustaining jobs.


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