Some alarming statistics about the welfare of Marquette children were presented to child care representatives and a panel of experts.
More than 16 per 1000 kids in Marquette are confirmed victims of abuse and neglect. Just 11 years ago, it was only 6 in 1000.
"We know the child abuse and neglect statistics are definitely worse than they were both in the number of reported cases and the number of confirmed cases. And that's not unexpected at a time when families are under a lot of stress, particularly economic stress," said Medical Director Theresa Frankovich.
Also, 15 percent of children are living in poverty in the county. And in the entire U.P., overall poverty in children rose from about 15 percent to over 17 percent.
"It's a very big concern for us, and the fact that all the poverty in the area makes such a difference on the well being of a child, not only the stress levels, but how they can get doctor's appointments, how they can work in school, if they're stressed out. So it just makes a difference in their whole life," said Great Start Collaborative Director for Marquette and Alger Counties, Kathy Lammi.
Marquette did show improvements in infant mortality, teen birth, and high school drop outs.
After Wednesday's meeting, several service agencies, such as the Upper Peninsula Children's Coalition, will take a look at the statistics that were given and will try to figure out the best way to make children in the U.P. safer, healthier and more successful.