Children & Families

About 1 in 5 children in Michigan live in poverty. Bridge will explore the reasons behind this disturbing result and the ideas to address it.

Articles

For most students, the nurse won’t see you now

September 29, 2016 | Ron French

Michigan has fewer school nurses than almost any state. Some districts are getting creative to try to solve the problem

Beyond bottled water: Huge checks, slow progress test patience in Flint

August 23, 2016 | Ron French

Delivering pallets of water was the easy part. Now it gets messy, as various players jockey for position, balance competing interests and struggle with plans to repair the city and its people after a crisis like no other.

Think America doesn’t give a damn about Flint? 15,000 donors disagree

August 23, 2016 | Ron French

15,000 donations have poured in to help Flint kids battling lead poisoning. One-dollar bills and five-figure checks arrive almost daily from schoolchildren and prison inmates, elderly widows and romance writers. Here are a few of their stories

Program busing Flint workers to distant jobs holds promise across state

August 16, 2016 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

More resources are being sought for transportation that recently doubled the number of Flint-area residents hired and bused to jobs in Livingston County.

Two years later, thousands of Detroit storm victims still waiting for help

August 11, 2016 | Kurt Kuban

A Bridge investigation found government aid is long gone for Detroit homes damaged by historic floods in 2014. Many of these homes were never even visited. One reason: A federal report says the state warned FEMA that Detroit was too perilous for the agency to conduct door-to-door interviews.

Businesses gain from stable child care, but what are they doing about it?

July 14, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

Quality child care for low-income workers benefits families, but also the businesses that parents work for. Yet only a small fraction of businesses subsidize child care and the Michigan Chamber says it is not pushing to increase state funding.

State child-care program still reeling from claims of lax oversight

July 14, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

A federally funded program to help the poorest workers pay for child care used to serve 60,000 Michigan families, three times what it serves now. A 2008 audit exposed financial lapses, caregivers with criminal pasts, and possible fraud. The numbers have yet to recover.

Michigan’s low investment in child care costs state and poor children alike

June 30, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

Michigan has one of the most restrictive policies in the nation on giving low-income families access to subsidized child care. Yet research shows investing in high-quality care can put more parents back to work and improves the odds for vulnerable children

In Flint, questions about Legionnaires’ death toll

June 28, 2016 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Bertie Marble’s death certificate points to pneumonia. But an attorney for her family, and her own medical records, raise questions about whether she was an uncounted victim of Legionnaires’ disease. Experts say toll may be far larger.

Legionnaires’ disease timeline

June 28, 2016 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Bertie Marble’s 2015 death coincided with a trio of emergencies in Genesee County: the Flint water crisis, an increase in pneumonia and flu deaths, and a deadly Legionnaires’ outbreak

Down and out in purest Michigan

June 21, 2016 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

In a U.P. forest, the “‘hood in the woods” has struggled to build a real community on an abandoned military base. The results so far are mixed

PHOTO GALLERY: A U.P. town like no other

June 21, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Sawyer is a community carved from a ghost town. More than 20 years after the U.S. Air Force left its base behind, it is an isolated Upper Peninsula outpost in need of jobs, transportation, a grocery store, laundromat, more activities for youth, as well as additional drug treatment for adults

Human trafficking fight plagued by bad data, as well as bad guys

June 9, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

Sex and labor trafficking are problems. But the state is left to create laws with no reliable data on the scope of problem in Michigan, or even a common understanding of what constitutes trafficking. Too often, Hollywood fills the vacuum.

Are prostitutes lawbreakers or trafficking victims?

June 9, 2016 | Jacob Wheeler

A human trafficking court in Washtenaw County is dispensing with assembly line prosecution of prostitutes. Instead, the court identifies whether women have been coerced into the sex trade, and offers them services to begin a new life.

What government owes Flint’s poisoned immigrant community

May 24, 2016 | Jacob Wheeler

Latino immigrants, including some in the U.S. illegally, were among the last to know about lead in Flint’s water. What is the state’s duty to help hard-to-find residents?

Far from Flint, lead remains an irreversible scourge

December 10, 2015 | Mike Wilkinson

Lead poisoning rates have dropped dramatically in Michigan over the past decade. But in many cities and towns, child exposure rates far exceed those in Flint.

Interactive map: Places with higher lead rates than Flint

December 10, 2015 | Bridge Staff

Check out cities across Michigan with high lead exposure rates, as well as rates in your neighborhood

Teen births declining in Michigan. But hurdles in northern, rural counties.

December 3, 2015 | Nancy Derringer

‘Babies having babies’ isn’t the problem it once was. But rates are higher in northern, rural counties, in a state where school districts may opt out of sex ed entirely.

Michigan teen birth rate by county

December 3, 2015 | Bridge Staff

The nation's teen birth rate has been falling since the early 1990s, and Michigan has generally tracked with that drop. But some counties remain above the state level of 7.8 percent of all births.

For impoverished Michiganders, a little help in the kitchen

October 15, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Nancy Derringer

Low-income people often find it harder to eat well. Classes designed to teach basic cooking skills, and how to find food growing wild on vacant lots, aim to fill the gap.

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