Family Economic Success
Why is it important?
The linkage between the emotional and financial stability of the family and the well-being of children, including their future academic and career success, is well-established and a distinguishing aspect of the Promise Neighborhood theory of change. Programs to strengthen family stability and parental support are especially vital in Langley Park where child poverty is compounded by parents’ very low levels of education, limited English proficiency, and unfamiliarity with U.S. schools as well as wage theft, predatory lending, and other abuses common in low-income neighborhoods. As a result, parents are ill equipped to provide a stable home, communicate with teachers, and support their children’s learning.
The Langley Park Promise Neighborhood Needs Assessment 2013 describes the scope of these challenges:
• 70 percent of residents are first-generation immigrants; two-thirds of whom came to the U.S. since 2000.
• The median income of Langley Park families with children is less than a third of the state median;
• 57% of parents have less than a 9th grade education (compared with 6.1% nationally) which, when coupled with language barriers, drastically reduces viable employment options;
• 45 percent of children under 18 live with a single parent, compared to approximately one-third in Maryland and the U.S. Much of this separation results from step or chain migration with fathers and older children leaving their home countries first to pave the way for mothers and smaller children;
• Employed Langley Park adults often have low-wage jobs that do not offer health insurance, which is demonstrated by the nearly 60% of residents that are uninsured.
• Even with employment, too many Langley Park families are struggling to pay their housing costs because 55% of Langley Park households use more than 30 percent of their income to pay housing costs. Further, nearly 4 of every 5 households in Langley Park are renters, while the rate of homeowner foreclosures was among the highest in the state in 2013.