Increase in minimum wage reduces child neglect cases, especially of school-age and toddlers

Increase in minimum wage reduces child neglect cases, especially of school-age and toddlers. Photo: Pixabay

Washington DC/USA, August 17: Money matters! As a study recently revealed that increase in the income can improve children welfare, especially of school-age and toddlers.

The findings indicated that raising the minimum wage by 1 Dollar per hour would result in a substantial decrease in the number of reported cases of child neglect.

A $1 increase would result in 9,700 (9.6 percent) fewer reported cases of child neglect annually as well as a likely decrease in cases of physical abuse, said Lindsey Rose Bullinger from Indiana University in the US.

“When caregivers have more disposable income, they’re better able to provide a child’s basic needs such as clothing, food, medical care and a safe home. Policies that increase the income of the working poor can improve children’s welfare, especially younger children, quite substantially,” Bullinger explained.

The team analyzed than 30 states had minimum wages exceeding the federal requirement by an average of $1 during the study period for nine years.

The results suggested substantial decrease in child neglect cases is concentrated among toddlers and school-age children, but changes in the minimum wage had little impact on reports of neglect of teenagers. The researchers found no variation based on a child’s race.

“We can’t say for sure that there would be even fewer cases of child maltreatment if hourly pay were that high, but our findings point in that direction,” Bullinger noted. The research appears in the journal Children and Youth Services Review. (ANI)