Job, marriage might not be enough to escape poverty

A report released last week by Gov. Sam Brownback’s task force on reducing childhood poverty emphasized education, employment and healthy marriages. Those are certainly key factors. But Betsy Cauble, a social welfare professor at Kansas State University, said the task force report assumes “that if you do everything you’re supposed to do, you’ll be able to get a job, make enough money to live on and take care of your family.” In today’s economy, that’s often not the case, she told the Kansas Health Institute News Service. Shannon Cotsoradis, chief executive of Kansas Action for Children, also noted that the report doesn’t mention early childhood development or “shoring up the social safety-net programs that are keeping thousands of families together.” The report criticized some safety-net programs and policies for “dis-incentivizing full-time employment and marriage or incentivizing out-of-wedlock childbirths.”