Keeping Watch on Alabama Families
Programs and services offered through the network have provided positive impacts with proven results to help families adjust across the lifespan.
So, when we speak of Alabama's families what image comes to mind? As we profile our families in an effort to assess and respond to basic needs and issues, what are the main characteristics that would capture the essence of family? Perhaps the one word that best describes Alabama families is "changing." As the population becomes more ethnically diverse, our aging population continues to increase, and teens continue to become parents, naturally our families become nontraditional.
Statistically, Alabama has over 1,200,000 family households with more than 250,000 headed by females. An estimated 186,000 of state households are 65 years and over. The median family income is approximately $42,000. Still, more than 26 percent of Alabama's children live in poverty.
Nationwide nearly one-half of all marriages
end in divorce, and more than 40 percent of children across the
nation are living without a father present in the household.
Because of insufficient earnings, approximately 75 percent of
mothers with children school age and older are likely to be working
outside the home. Alabama is not that different from the national
average. Social, economic, and legal problems, or other conflicts
place some families at risk for meeting basic core needs and
having the necessary skills to function in a changing environment.
Strengthening families and communities in the twenty-first century
means providing programs and services to help them deal with
change and the resulting challenges.
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