(WTVM) - From abuse to children living in poverty, a new study rates all states based on the best places for underprivileged children to live, and both Georgia and Alabama come in amongst the worst.
Experts in the Valley say this research is evident in Columbus and Phenix City. Overall, Alabama is coming in 43rd, while Georgia is even lower at 47th in the country for underprivileged children and resources to help them according to new research from WalletHub.
In light of Child Support Awareness month happening in August, the study shows the Peach and Yellowhammer states are falling behind. Alabama made the top five list for having the highest percent of children living below the poverty line and highest child food insecurity rates.
Executive Director of the Russell County Child Advocacy Center, Lynn Hammock, says the study could reflect the lack of funding in Alabama.
"When you look at the funding that's available for those agencies or those services that are trying to prevent poverty in the community or to prevent abuse from occurring, the money's just not there," said Hammock.
Georgia made the top five worst states for highest percentage of teens not attending school or working.
"Usually when teens are not attending school, not working ages 16 to 19, a lot of times that means they are underprivileged and more likely to go toward criminal activity," said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with WalletHub.
The findings are troubling for many and are prompting advocates to turn to the community to fix it.
"Children do not ask to come into this world as victims of abuse, victims of poverty, going to bed without food in their bellies. It's our responsibility, and yes when I say our, that includes parents, but sometimes things are beyond their control," said Hammock.
Some of the top ranking states for children, resources available to them, and low crimes against them include New Hampshire, New Jersey, Utah, Minnesota, and Iowa.