A person raised in extreme poverty may suffer long-lasting consequences – showing up on one’s brain. Chronic stress caused by poverty actually shows up on the brain and may be the cause of physical and mental ailments later in life.
Social workers include childhood poverty in a term titled “ACEs” or Adverse Childhood Experiences. Poverty, neglect, abuse, trauma, all may contribute to challenges in adulthood, challenges from mild learning disabilities to criminal behavior.
As we look at our society and wonder how to address challenging problems, perhaps the answer is in part at the very beginning: good pre-natal care for pregnant women and education, support and opportunities for families. Seems the very least we can offer our children is a secure beginning.
(S-R archives photo)