America has dealt with poverty for decades and programs will continue to be created to assist American families in dealing with the effects of poverty. The number of Americans living in poverty in The United States was estimated to be 35.9 million in 2003 with 12.9 being children (US Census Bureau, 2004). The greatest affects of poverty are on the innocent children who grow up in poverty stricken families and sadly, research reveals that poverty tends to move from one generation to the next. There are many issues that affect children and poverty along with many ways to address and enact change within this population. .
In the 1960's programs were expanded and created that were aimed at assisting poverty stricken families out of poverty, removing slum areas from our cities and creating educational and health programs to assist families in need (Burger, Youkeles, 2004). Today many of these programs are still in place in some form and continue to help poverty stricken families. Although the past goal was to eliminate poverty, this goal has not been met and continues to challenge Americans. .
America continues to struggle with the issue of poverty; it is a challenge that we have been unable to compete with for decades. Many social programs are created and overloaded due to the side effects of poverty. One would naturally have to assume that if we could eliminate the original problem, would we not be able to reduce the incidence of the effects of this problem?.
Poverty in American families has been shown to lead to drug addiction, child abuse, child neglect, sex crimes, spouse abuse and other criminal behaviors (Elgin, 2007). Although these effects are not always the result of poverty, they have been shown to be at a higher incidence in poverty stricken areas and families. Accordingly, with the increase in these dangerous behaviors, social programs are created to help families deal with the side effects of poverty.