University of South Carolina

Children’s Law Center collaborates on the 2011 KIDS COUNT annual report

Contact: Peggy Binette 803-777-5400

The Children’s Law Center in the university’s School of Law is helping to provide a better understanding of how the recession has impacted children in individual states, including South Carolina.

The center serves as staff support and provides research for South Carolina Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children and collaborates with KIDS COUNT South Carolina. Working with Dr. Barron Holmes, project director of KIDS COUNT South Carolina, staff in USC’s Children’s Law Center compiled and analyzed data for a report for the Children’s Trust of South Carolina.

Harry Davis, director of the USC Children’s Law Center, said the findings were startling.

“South Carolina continues to rank 45th in national indicators for the well-being of its children,” Davis said. “More sobering is that the state ranks second-highest in the nation for families with both parents unemployed (6.6 percent), and that one-half of the children in South Carolina live in some measured degree of poverty. South Carolina ranks 14th among states for children affected by foreclosure.”

Davis said that 25 percent of South Carolina children live in “poverty,” which for a family of four is an annual income of up to $22,350 that has to cover expenses such as housing, utilities, clothing, transportation, medical care, education and food. Another 25 percent of the state’s children live in “low income,” which the federal government defines as an annual income at or below $44,700 annually for a family of four.

Working with Davis on the project were Gwynne Goodlett, an attorney and senior policy analyst, and Jenny May, a doctoral candidate and research assistant in the center who did much of the statistical analysis.

The 2011 KIDS COUNT data examined poverty, unemployment and foreclosures, all key indicators closely associated with the recession.

The South Carolina data revealed the following:

• 511,162 children live in some measured degree of poverty.

• 253,000 children live in families in which one or both parents are unemployed.

• 53,000 children were impacted by foreclosure of their home during 2007 – 2009.

This year marks the first time that the USC Children’s Law Center has collaborated on the KIDS COUNT annual report.

Goodlett said the work for KIDS COUNT builds on the center’s expertise and provides the opportunity to tap the greater resources that exist at USC.

“It is important and an exciting project for us,” Goodlett said. “We have called upon faculty and members of the USC Research Consortium on Children and Families (RCCF) who are experts in their respective fields and look forward to working with them to continue to analyze the data we have collected.”

KIDS COUNT data have been collected since 2000. The 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book is accessible online at

For more information about the USC Children’s Law Center and its role as the State Committee on Children’s resource for data, research and policy related to children’s welfare and well-being, visit the website


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Posted: 08/24/11 @ 4:25 PM | Updated: 10/13/11 @ 1:36 PM | Permalink