Children At Risk
Adopted on May 29, 1994, at the CSJO Executive Board meeting in South Euclid, Ohio, USA
Large numbers of children are living in conditions which put them at high risk. This is defined as those who exhibit one or more of the following:
- live below the poverty level
- abuse and neglect
- educational deprivation
Children and families are the fastest increasing numbers and proportion of the homeless. Increasing number of families are in distress, leading to abuse, neglect, abandonment and rejection of babies, children and youth.
The affiliates of the CSJO are aware of the great need for addressing the needs of these children at risk. To relieve and in the future prevent putting children at risk, we believe that social policies must be directed to quickly increase the availability of affordable, decent housing and support of families both socially and financially. We are also aware of the many organizations in our communities designed to assist these children.
We urge our affiliates to cooperate with these groups and organizations in order to raise the consciousness of our communities and to assist in alleviating the needless suffering of children and the waste of potential that exist today. We call special attention to the following, not denigrating other programs designed to help:
- the need for increased funding for programs that provide preventive and supportive services for families and reduce the incidence of child abuse, neglect and homelessness.
- the need for special programs, long-term and short-term shelter, and new thinking to help homeless children and families.
- special attention to the problems of abandoned and at-risk babies.
- the need for additional low-income housing.
- increasing support levels for comprehensive pre-school and other child care programs.
- breakfast and/or lunch programs for children where needed in schools and preschools.
- the need for expansion of job training, apprenticeship and community service programs that equip teenagers with job skills for meaningful employment.
- the need for legislation that provides family and medical leave and job-guaranteed unpaid leave for employees with newborn, newly adopted and/or sick children or parents, or serious personal illness.
- the need to provide medical coverage for all, especially pregnant women, infants and children.
- the need for adequate funding levels to assure full immunization of children.