Young parents in Missouri and across the U.S. are grappling with challenges including financial insecurity, difficulty finishing school, lack of opportunities for career advancement and inadequate access to child care, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Such problems affect a relatively large portion of Missouri’s population, as 13 percent of Missourians between the ages of 18 and 24 are parents, compared with 10 percent of that same population nationally, the report says.
There are about 67,000 young parents in the state and roughly 67,000 children who have young parents, according to the report.
The report highlights challenges Missouri’s young parents face, including:
- Educational attainment – Fifteen percent of young parents in the state have not finished high school. Eleven percent have completed an associate’s degree or higher.
- Financial stability – Just more than two-thirds of Missouri’s children of young parents live in low-income households, slightly below than the national average of 69 percent.
The foundation’s report says states should support workforce and education programs to help young parents.
One such program on offer in Missouri is the Missouri Mentoring Partnership, which provides young parents and other young people with mentors to help them advance in school and obtain parenting skills.
Read more: Columbia Missourian