Academic journal article Human Ecology Forum

Sustaining Our Connections through Families and Communities

Academic journal article Human Ecology Forum

Sustaining Our Connections through Families and Communities

Article excerpt

All families face numerous challenges today in balancing work and family responsibilities, in creating a nurturing environment for their children, in coping with an increasing level of violence, and in struggling with a changing health care system.

These challenges are even greater for families living in poverty. According to the Census Bureau, in 1998 13.5 million American children were living in poverty. Although the growth of our economy in the past decade has decreased the number of poor families, not all families have benefited equally. In New York State, according to a 1999 New York State Assembly report, the wealthiest families increased their income by nearly 30 percent while the income of middle-income families decreased by 8 percent.

New York communities face similar challenges. In urban and rural communities, concerns about promoting economic vitality and creating new jobs often intersect concerns about the quality of the environment. Increasing the opportunities in communities for individuals to achieve their full potential remains an important goal in building social capacity and enhancing life quality.

Strengthening communities is an integral component of our college's research and outreach mission. Our multidisciplinary approaches to community development are based on enhancing economic vitality, building social and human capacity, and improving the environment. …

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