Goal Statement: This prevention project aims to decrease Hispanic child poverty in Port Isabel, TX, from the current rate of 45% to 40% over five years by connecting with Hispanic families who live in poverty through focus groups and family counseling to address bicultural issues affecting educational success.
Population and Problem
Many Hispanic children in Port Isabel, TX, live in poverty (45%; County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2018), especially girls under the age of five (DATAUSA, 2018). How might this be decreased now and prevented in the future?
Risk factors for child poverty include parents living in a colonia or low-income housing (Dietz, 2008; Towne et al., 2017), attending a high school with low standardized test grades (Texas Education Agency (TEA), 2017), identifying as Hispanic (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2018), not having health insurance (Towne et al.), or living in a time of global economic hardship (Towne et al.). Protective factors for child poverty in Port Isabel include family support (Espino, 2016) and having health insurance (Towne et al., 2017). This prevention project aims to reduce these risk factors and increase these protective factors.
Programs that embrace Social Cognitive Theory can address this problem (Betters-Bubon & Schultz, 2018; Buzzetto-Hollywood et al., 2019; Carey, 2019; Promising Practices Network, 2014), as well as projects that embrace culture competency techniques (Garcia-Joslin et al., 2016; Parra-Cardona et al., 2017). Recommended advocacy actions to push toward preventing poverty include bending the rules or disagreeing with superiors, finding nontraditional transportation options for students, or teaching families how to advocate for themselves (Crawford et al., 2019).
Objectives, Strategies, and Interventions
Hispanic children experiencing poverty can be identified and can participate in focus groups. Information gathered from these focus groups can provide an outline for appropriate family counseling for interested families. School counselors can act as consultants to help with educational assistance and in setting up an evidence-based program such as “Teaching And Reaching Every Area” (TAREA; n.d.).
A brochure can be created and handed out at the focus groups that lists currently available resources for undocumented families and their children. We can additionally raise public support for this region's initiative.