Grandparents Raising Grandkids, Kinship Care and Foster Care

The 2020 Census is underway and it’s critical that we count every child. When we miss young children in the census, it has serious consequences for them, their families, their communities and our nation – with many of those consequences lasting for at least 10 years; most of their childhood.

Who is at risk of being missed?

Children under the age of 5 are, by far, the most undercounted demographic group. Among young children, some groups are at an even greater risk of not being counted:

  • Nearly 107,000 Pennsylvania children live with an adult(s) who is not their biological or adoptive parent.
  • 11% of Pennsylvania’s young children live with a grandparent, and the number is rising.
  • Racial minorities have a larger share of young children living with a grandparent householder.
  • Approximately 6,000 – 9,000 children in Pennsylvania’s foster care system.

For each child not counted in Pennsylvania, we lost $1,746 in federal funding for Medicaid, CHIP, Foster Care, Adoption, and Child Care. In the last census, PA undercounted 25,197 kids, resulting in nearly $44 million in lost federal funding.

Why does it matter?

States use census data to redraw federal, state, local and school voting districts. As well as, allocate over $800 billion a year in federal funds for programs such as:

  • health insurance programs, like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance program;
  • education programs like Title I funding to schools in low-income communities and IDEA special education funding for children with disabilities;
  • programs that keep children safe, like foster care; and
  • programs that help children learn while their parents work, by helping pay for quality child care.

States, localities and businesses also use census data to plan, including where to put new schools or to open new stores.

If there is a child living in your home on April 1, 2020, that kid counts!

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