Why access to services is even more important in rural areas

14 March 2016 Written by  

It is widely agreed that rural communities have a different set of issues than urban communities. Access to services is difficult for a variety of reasons including lack of transportation and a lack of service providers. When there are no providers in town and individuals must wait on availability, scheduling can become a problem. In some cases, where an individual has no family leave policy, traveling to a provider can mean missed wages. While all low-income families, regardless of where they live need connections to support programs, and access to economic opportunities, strategies that work in urban areas often cannot be applied to rural areas where social and economic programs are few and far between.

Voices for Utah Children’s KIDS COUNT Project recently compared child well-being indicators for children in rural and urban Utah. In general, well-being indicators for children in rural Utah are slightly worse than those in urban areas. This gap is seen across all domains. For example:
• 18% of rural Utah children live in poverty compared to 13% of urban children
• 65% of women receive adequate prenatal care in rural Utah compared to 75% of their urban counterparts
• 35% of rural Utah students are chronically absent compared to 31% of their urban classmates

As Kenneth Johnson said in the Carsey Institute’s Demographic Trends in Rural and Small Town America:
“In urban areas, questions of access to care often revolve around whether all segments of the population have access to the full range of specialized medical centers serving the metropolitan area. In rural areas, the issue is often whether there are any health care facilities and providers to access at all. Large metropolitan counties have nearly four times as many physicians per 100,000 residents as do rural counties with only small towns.”

The fact that problems occur more often for rural children is an area that needs to be addressed as finding solutions to those problems becomes increasingly difficult as services become far and few between.

LUGU Logo 1March 31, 2016 is Love UT Give UT!

It’s a day for Utahns to give to the nonprofits that make Utah special. Every donation to Voices for Utah Children through Love UT Give UT gives Voices a chance to win matching grants and prizes.

And you don't have to wait!  Donate now at http://bit.ly/loveUTchildren.

For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

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Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express for sponsoring our 30th Anniversary Year. Amex

Terry Haven 300Terry Haven, Deputy Director, joined the organization in 1996. She researches and publishes the annual Utah KIDS COUNT data book that reports on the well-being of Utah's children by county. She analyzes U.S Census data and provides data support for all Voices issue areas. She also conducts trainings and provides technical assistance on data work for community groups. Terry is the point person at Voices for our work on Intergenerational Poverty and two-generation strategies for moving children and their families out of poverty. This includes working with the Intergenerational Poverty Commission Research Subcommittee and focusing on chronic absence.Terry works with a number of national partners including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ascend Fund at the Aspen Institute, and Attendance Works to help further the mission of Voices for Utah Children. Her academic background is in sociology, with a Bachelors degree and Masters degree from the University of Wyoming.