The challenges facing our community’s children can diminish their chances for successful adult lives. In this section, we review several indicators that describe family supports and risk exposure of our youngest residents.
Those indicators are: 1) children living in poverty; 2) single-parent families; 3) child abuse and neglect; 4) foster care admissions; 5) teen pregnancy rates 6) live births to teen mothers; 7) juvenile delinquency intakes; and 8) bullying incidents.
In all cases, comparisons to New York state statistics reflect the entire state excluding New York City.
The rate of children in poverty in Dutchess County has increased over the past decade, similar to state and national trends. There is also a growing share of single-parent families in the county.
The rate of child abuse and neglect in Dutchess was above the region and the state. Foster care admissions rates have fluctuated over the decade, but overall increase slightly.
Teen pregnancy rates have declined, with rates lower than the region and state. Dutchess also has the lowest rates of live births to teen mothers and reported bullying incidents in the region.
The rate of child poverty in Dutchess County increased but remained the lowest in the region.
Over the past decade, child poverty in Dutchess has increased, following state and national trends. In 2011-15, about 12% of children in Dutchess were living in poverty, up 3 points since 2000, yet below the statewide and national rates (both 22%) and rates in Ulster (14%) and Orange (20%).
Poverty was highest among African American (24%) and Hispanic (21%) children in Dutchess in 2011-15, while white children (9%) were the least likely to live in poverty.
The number of single-parent families in Dutchess County increased.
The proportion of single-parent families in Dutchess increased 4 percentage points from 2000, similar to state and national trends. In 2011-15, over a quarter of families (27%) in Dutchess were headed by single parents, below national (35%), state (32%) and regional (28%) rates.
About 61% of African American families in Dutchess were headed by single parents, compared to 32% of Hispanic families and 24% of white families. Rates for most racial and ethnic groups in Dutchess were slightly below the rates for their respective groups statewide and nationally.
Rates of child abuse and neglect in Dutchess County stayed relatively flat since 2000.
The county’s rate of 15 abused or neglected children for every 1,000 in 2015 was slightly lower than the 2000 rate and above the rates for the region (11).
Foster care admissions were lower in Dutchess County than in the state.
Foster care rates have ranged between .9 and 1.5 since 2000, while the state’s rates have steadily dropped from 2.1 to 1.6. In 2015. Dutchess had the lowest rate in the region at 1.5 admissions per 1,000 youth compared to Ulster (2.2) and Orange (1.7).
Youth Risk Behavior
Teen pregnancy rates in Dutchess County were lower than neighboring counties as well as the state.
Dutchess consistently had the lowest teen pregnancy rates in the region. In 2014, the percentage of teen pregnancies in Dutchess was 1.7%, below the region and state. Similar to statewide trends, Dutchess’ teen pregnancy rates have declined during the decade (61%) since 2000.
Live births to teen mothers have significantly declined since 2000.
In 2014, there were 8 live births to teen mothers per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19 in Dutchess County, a 61% reduction since 2000. Dutchess has consistently had the lowest rates of babies born to teen mothers in the region and has remained well below statewide and national rates, which have also declined (48% and 49% respectively).
Juvenile delinquency intakes have sharply declined in Dutchess County.
In 2015, there were 16 juvenile delinquency intakes in Dutchess for every 10,000 juveniles, the county’s lowest rate in the decade and an 83% drop in intakes since 2000. Rates in Dutchess have been consistently lower than statewide rates. Dutchess had the lowest rate of juvenile delinquency intakes in the region below Orange (29) and Ulster (57).
The rate of reported bullying incidents decreased in Dutchess, and remained the lowest in the region.
Dutchess has consistently had the lowest rate of bullying incidents in the region since 2004. In 2015, there were 5.8 bullying incidents for every 1,000 students in Dutchess, lower than the regional rate of 9.3 and the state rate of 10. Since 2004, reported incidents have increased by 31% in Dutchess, compared to a 22% decrease in Orange and a 37% decrease in Ulster.