October 18, 2023

U.S. Child Poverty Rate Doubles in Just One Year

The work of Friends of the Children in breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty is more critical than ever. This can be evidenced by recent data from the Census Bureau which found the rate of child poverty more than doubling in the US from 2021 to 2022—rising from 5.2% to 12.4%. This jump in the poverty rate, which is the largest on record, means that more than five million additional children were living in poverty in the United States in 2022. Many people attribute the climb in the poverty rate to the end of COVID-era programs that assisted families and children but have since expired.

Friends of the Children was founded on research showing that the single most important factor in overcoming childhood adversity is a long-term, nurturing relationship with a consistent and caring adult. Our work is relationship-based, individualized and intentional. Each child gets a dedicated, one-on-one Friend who spends a minimum of 14 to 16 intentional hours per month with them. Friends and youth set goals and design activities that advance those goals and build life skills, and Friends create meaningful experiences to explore each child's unique talents and interests.

By tailoring our approach to each child and working with them and their families for 12+ years no matter what, we aim to help them reach for their dreams and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Research shows that our intermediate and long-term outcomes are directly connected to creating opportunity, hope and lasting connections for youth in our program. We look toward a future where every child who needs a Friend, has one.

The United States Census Bureau Report Poverty in the United States: 2022 can be found here.