By Rob Pine, Executive Director of ChristianWorks for Children
ChristianWorks for Children is about the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of children and families that God directs our way for help, hope, and healing right here in the Dallas/Fort-Worth metroplex. ChristianWorks cares about kids!
Each month in the financial magazines, newspapers, radio and TV news reports, Texas is held up as a model for job creation and economic growth; even ranked #2 as a state, as well as many of our counties (5 of the top 10), and cities (6 of the top 20). What doesn’t receive much media hype is Texas poor results in caring for the children of our state.
We rank ahead of Mississippi and New Mexico. The overall ranking improves to 42nd out of all 50 states when the categories of economic, education, and health are included. Texas ranks number 1 in the United States in the number of children living in poverty! Children in poverty represent 27% of children in Texas. There are five states with higher percentages. You can review other findings on Texas kids’ comparisons at http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data#USA/2/0 .
ChristianWorks’ staff embrace the ministry the Lord has given us to serve children and families in distress, most of the time for children because of circumstances they have no control over. Jesus tells His followers to “let the children come to me, do not hinder them.” Despite the obstacles they face we show them God’s goodness even in times of sorrow, trouble and pain.
As Texas citizens we can and should take comfort and be thankful, that our state is an economic growth engine benefiting all its residents in some manner. However, there is something fundamentally wrong when such a prosperous state also produces the following data on the children that live here:
- Ranks 49th in the country in per capita spending on mental health treatment for children (Texas Care for Children).
- Ranks 48th in the country in spending per student in the education system (National Education Association).
- Ranks 47th in lowest teen pregnancy rate. (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy)
- Ranks 42nd in overall child well-being (Kids Count 2013 Data Book).
Can Texas sustain the economic prosperity if it fails to invest in its children’s future? I suspect the answer is a resounding but little heard no!
I know that if we turn to God for answers to problems and difficulties, solutions follow.