Financial Stability of Individuals and Families

Background and Importance

The relationship between income and health is well documented. The chart below displays the relationship between household income level and the proportion of adults in New Hampshire who report being in fair or poor health.

The proportion of young children living in poverty is increasing more quickly than other age groups. Families with young children are also at higher risk of experiencing food insecurity and children living in low-income families are more likely to suffer from malnutrition and underdevelopment than the general population.  Low-income is also a substantial risk-factor for many adverse childhood developmental outcomes that put children and their parents at increased vulnerability of compromised long-term health outcomes.[1]

Because families form the core of a child’s early environments of relationships and experiences that are foundational to healthy development, it is important to provide families with supports when they face challenges such as poverty, unemployment, or poor health. Efforts to support families in the Winnipesaukee Region must include those that provide adequate and stable employment, income sufficient to meet basic needs, and that provide children with safe and healthy environments marked by positive and consistent relationships with adults at home and in the community.  Services such as quality early childhood care, home visiting and respite care programs for families with special health care needs, mentoring programs, employment assistance and educational support programs, and financial aid programs all can support families in providing more stable foundations for themselves and their developing children.

Regional Initiatives and Opportunities

The Financial Stability Partnership with leadership from granite united way and many partners across the region are working in coordination with this community health improvement plan to improve health through increased financial stabilityThe Financial Stability Partnership (FSP) is a collaborative community-based initiative focused on bringing all sectors of the community together to address a common agenda: reducing poverty in Belknap County by 20% by 2020.

The Financial Stability Partnership’s efforts are led by workgroups made up of representatives from social service providers, business, government and faith-based sectors, and community members at large.  Current FSP workgroups include: 

·         Early Childhood

·         Adolescents

·         Health Care

·         Wealth Development and Management

·         Workforce Development

·         Transportation

 

The FSP workgroups are closely coordinating their efforts, and in some cases are fully integrated with the workgroups outlined in this Community Health Improvement Plan such as in the priority areas of improving access to health care and preventing substance misuse. Additional goals, objectives and strategies not already included in previous sections of this plan are described below.

Goals, Objectives and Strategic Approach

Goal 1

Improve community health by reducing the number of individuals and families experiencing poverty in Belknap County by 20% by 2020

Objective 1

(developmental)

Increase community understanding of the relationship between poverty and health.

Objective 2

(developmental)

Increase training and resources available to lower income families for assistance with wealth development and management.

Objective 3

 

Increase the percentage of families earning a livable wage through enhanced career and skills development, educational opportunities, and training.

Objective 4

 

Increase the percentage of children receiving subsidized early childhood care who are enrolled in accredited or licensed plus programs.

Objective 5

(developmental)

Increase the percentage of children who are “on schedule” on the Ages & Stages developmental assessment.

 

Strategic Approach


STRATEGY 1 – Community Education: Disseminate data and other information to the general public to increase Community understanding of the relationship between poverty and health

STRATEGY 2 - Workforce Development: Work with local schools, businesses, and other partners to engage young people and all citizens to provide and enhance career and skills development, educational opportunities, and training.

STRATEGY 3 - Wealth Development and Management: Help low income working families claim the earned income tax credit, build financial assets, and access relevant financial education.

STRATEGY 4 - Early Childhood: Help all children learn & develop optimally by implementing strategies to strengthen families including linking children to a medical home.

STRATEGY 5 - Early Childhood: Assure implementation of model practices for nutrition, physical activity, Developmental Screening, and behavioral support in early childhood programs and child care settings.



[1] ZERO TO THREE National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. Early Experiences Matter: A Guide to improved policies for Infants and Toddlers. (2009)



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