Is it OK with you if one in five South Dakota kids don’t have enough to eat?
Are you cool with those kids facing other economic struggles, such as reduced access to medical care, uncertain housing, shabby clothing and all the fiscal insecurities that come with being poor?
Because the reality is, thousands of kids in this state, which prides itself on caring for young people, are in these sad situations, according to people who pay attention to those numbers.
Here’s the coalition’s 2011 report, and it has some hard facts behind it. Take a minute or two and read it. Do these kids deserve this? Is it your business to do something?
We heard from the kids’ advocates Wednesday in Mitchell as part of a statewide tour. The South Dakota Voices for Children coalition works for all kids in our state, and offers stats and stark numbers to back up its claims.
Do you blame the parents, if they are there? Is it right for kids to go hungry or live in a dirty, unsafe home? Health care? Not my issue, state leaders say.
A lot of kids in South Dakota — one in five, at least — face these harsh realities every day. Lawmakers in Pierre are often unwilling to invest in kids, the coalition people told a small gathering in Mitchell.
Perhaps most striking was the fact that family children’s care facilities that serve 12 kids or fewer are not licensed or inspected. If there are sex offenders or violent, dangerous people involved, no one is SD is making sure the kids are safe.
Do you accept that and other hazards for the most vulnerable? Or do you want to do something about it?