The Dallas County Family Resource Center serves all of the Selma/Dallas County area which is part of Alabama’s Black Belt, home to some of the poorest counties in the United States. This area is plagued with high unemployment, poor access to health care, high rate of diabetes, substandard housing, low high school graduation rates, high infant mortality, substance abuse, crime, and poor infrastructure. Many of these factors increase the risk for child maltreatment.
More than 36% percent of the Dallas County population lives below the poverty level; 56.2% percent of our children are growing up in poverty. This is more than twice the state percentage of children living in poverty. More than 8000 children in our county are eligible for SNAP benefits. Medicaid paid births in Dallas County is the second highest in the State at 81.1%, with more than 34% of pregnant women are not receiving adequate prenatal care. Dallas County also holds a high rate of preventable teen deaths at 164.7 per 100,000 which is well above the state average of 54.1. The county currently ranks 66th out of 67 counties in the State’s overall child well-being indicators (2014 Kids Count Data Book).
Since 2008, Dallas County has consistently ranked among the three counties with the highest unemployment rate in Alabama. The latest data shows some improvement, but Dallas County is still in the top ten with a rate of 8.6% for March 2015 (Alabama Department of Labor).
Through our services and programs, we believe we can affect Dallas County’s dismal statistics. The DCFRC strategically operates through a holistic approach to serve our county’s low-income citizens—not only assessing an individual client’s needs, but also identifying his or her strengths, resources, and goals. We offer services that identify as well as alleviate barriers, and empower families to better cope with and overcome obstacles that prevent them from being financially independent.