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14:50 PM

HealthDay: State Spending on Poverty Really Pays off for Kids

By Cara Murez

When states spend money on programs that reduce poverty, fewer children are abused and neglected, fewer end up in foster care and fewer die, a new study reveals.

Many people would say this is reason enough to direct public spending in this way. Yet, there's also a fiscal advantage to doing so because investments in these programs may offset some of the long-term costs, according to the study.

"Child abuse and neglect is a public health crisis and it needs a public health response to be prevented. Pathways towards addressing poverty is one of the cornerstones, I believe, for preventing child abuse and neglect," said lead author Dr. Henry Puls, from the pediatrics department at Children's Mercy Kansas City, a Missouri hospital.

The study didn't consider the specifics of why this kind of investment would make a difference, but Puls offered some thoughts.

"Reducing poverty can have positive impacts on parents' mental health, their physical health, their ability to obtain basic needs and materials and so all that together creates a better environment for children to grow and thrive," Puls said.

Some states haven't expanded their benefits programs much and for them there is a lot of opportunity for expansion, Puls noted.


Read the full article via HealthDay

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