The rate of kids in Michigan that are abused or neglected rose 34 percent over the past decade, according to the Kids Count report from the Michigan League for Human Services. The report also says the percent of kids living in poverty and "extreme poverty" has risen dramatically in the past decade, as has the rate of kids who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.
Jane Zehnder-Merrell is with the League. She says poverty is pervasive throughout the state.
"There's sort of a perception out there of 'if people would just look for a job then they wouldn't have to rely on public support. But when you look at what's happened throughout Michigan counties and their employment rates, it's a pretty staggering picture thinking about trying to look for a job in this job market," she says.
Zehnder-Merrell says poverty affects every county in Michigan.
"In the most affluent counties in Michigan, the unemployment rate has quadrupled," she says. "Between 2000 and 2010 we now here the unemployment rate is coming down, but part of that is being explained according the experts that people have left the labor force; that people have given up looking for work."
Zehnder-Merrell says the good news from the Kids Count report is teen births continue to decline. The number of teen deaths and the rate of high school dropouts are also declining.