The Annie E. Casey Foundation “Kids Count” data shows a significant increase of single parent homes from 2012 to 2013 with 42% of children in Tucson in a single parent home in 2012 and 50% in 2013. Children raised in single parent homes have an increased likelihood of living in poverty. According to the US Census, in the City of Tucson a staggering 44% of families with a single parent live below the federal poverty level (higher than the state average of 39%). Of 500 kids served by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson (BBBST) in 2014: 68% came from single parent households or households where one parent is absent due to incarceration (30%); 70% were low income and; 63% were racial/ethnic minorities.
Research indicates that poverty contributes to risk factors including lower academic achievement, behavioral issues, and increased health problems. Youth facing multiple risk factors are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors such as substance use, truancy and school dropout, violence, and risky sexual behaviors. Girls experience higher rates of teen pregnancy. BBBST effectively addresses these issues by providing supportive programs and caring adult mentors to decrease and prevent negative outcomes and ensure children and youth in Tucson reach their highest potential.
The Centurions are committed to working tirelessly to contribute to this important need!