Currently, 28% of the children in the greater Oklahoma City area are living at or below the poverty level. Despite the dismal statistic, it is important to recognize that poverty is not the only challenge affecting these precious children. Many of the children attending our programs come from dysfunctional homes, where the traditional picture of a loving, happy family and an innocent childhood rarely exist. Instead, poverty, violence, crime, divorce, alcoholism, prostitution, and drug abuse are a reality in many of their lives.
There are more than 26,000 children in Oklahoma who have a parent in prison. Children with parents in prison are 70% more likely to end up behind bars before the age of 25.
Involvement of Children with Drugs and Alcohol:
In the previous recorded year, about 20,000 (7%) students from the ages of 12 to 17 engaged in binge alcohol drinking and 21,000 (7%) have used marijuana.
Children in Single-Parent / Guardian Families:
In the latest recorded year, 36% of Oklahoma children are currently living in single-parent households.
Abused and Neglected Children:
A report of a child abuse or neglect was made every 10 minutes in Oklahoma and a child became a victim of maltreatment every hour. A child dies or is nearly killed by abuse or neglect every week.
In the latest recorded year, over 16,300 youth between 10-17 years were arrested for violent crimes in Oklahoma. 1 in every 10 criminal arrests in the state of Oklahoma are juvenile arrests.
In 2012, the police department identified 5,150 gang members and about 120 gang sets. Children as young as 8 years old are being recruited into gangs.
School Drop Outs:
In 2013, there were over 3,911 high school dropouts statewide. 9.6% of high school students in Oklahoma did not graduate with their class in 2013.
5,909 babies were born to mothers aged 19 or younger in the latest recorded year. 1 in every 10 births in the state occurs to a teen mother. 66 of those were born to children ages 14 years or younger.
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