Browsing Hood College by Subject "accessibility"
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ItemExamining the Impact of Social Support Accessibility on Frederick County K-12 Students(2019-04) Schwagerl, Erin; Calo, Kristine; Education; Departmental HonorsThis research examines influential accessibility factors, including geography, process complexity, and educational attainment, that affect the procurement of social supports by households that care for low-income children in Frederick County, Maryland. Presently, the positive impacts of social supports in Frederick County are significantly diminished by barriers to social support accessibility. Geography and other accessibility factors affect not only the process of qualifying for aid but also the ability to make use of the resulting provisions. Furthermore, the current approach to poverty measurement overlooks a substantial population of Frederick County children in need. This paper reviews the consequences of unmet need in Frederick County pertaining to food insecurity, child homelessness, inadequate access to reliable transportation, and mental and behavioral health problems (including substance abuse). These consequences are cyclical, impacting K-12 children well into adulthood. When one area of need remains unmet, the burden may extend into that child’s ability to succeed in school and results in lifelong repercussions including teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, incarceration, lower future earning potential, and unemployment. Also explored are the benefits of more fully meeting the needs of low- income households with children. Lastly, possible actions to increase the positive influence of social supports by mitigating the most significant identified barriers to fully accessing social supports are investigated. After critically examining the current system of eligibility determination and recognizing the inadequacies of this present system, the conclusion is clear that a new method of eligibility determination must be embraced to effectively support Frederick County children in need.