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At Risk Students

Society has changed so much over the years. Earlier times consisted of a father that worked a full time job, a mother that stayed home to raise the children, and the children. Unfortunately, the times have changed and so have the views of a traditional family. Today??™s students come from a wide variety of families. These students are sometimes called at risk students because of the way the lives of their families. An at risk student can be a student that is homeless, teen parent, addicted to drugs or alcohol, or even a latch key kid. These are all types of at risk students that can cause a negative effect on their education.
Latch key children are one of the most common types of at risk student. Today??™s society has a high demand to have a two part working household. The cost of living has gone up so much that it is not always possible to live off of one parent??™s income alone. Another issue is that more and more children today come from single family homes. While there is nothing wrong with both parents working or even having only one parent at home it can put the child at risk. Latch key children are children who come home from school every day to a house with no parents home. These children are placed in a situation where they become 100% responsible for themselves and their studies.
There is always the option of after school child care if the families are capable of affording it. Child care can be extremely expensive and is not always an option. A single child can range anywhere from $100 to $135 a week just for three hours after school in my area. Most families consist of more than just one child so that price now has to be doubled or even tripled. There are some schools that offer after school care right at the school for a very small fee. I know here in Georgia there are some schools that offer this program for anywhere from $25 to $35 a week. The rising cost of child care facilities has forced more and more families to turn their children into latch key children.
Latch key children have become so common in today??™s society that many states offer programs to assist these types of at risk students. It is also important to know the laws in your state for the age limits that children can stay home by themselves. Georgia states that children 9 to 12 years old can stay home less than two hours by themselves. A child 12 or older can stay home by themselves for longer periods of time and can be in charge of younger siblings. The parent should always be sure that their child is responsible enough to stay home unattended. DSC or Database Systems Corporation is a program that offers help to families with latch key children. They offer a program that is called CARE. The CARE program is an automated phone reassurance program that is ran by volunteers. The program is offered through many local fire departments, police departments, sheriffs??™ offices, and other nonprofit organizations. The CARE phone reassurance program offers a service that will call to check on latch key children while home unattended to ensure that they are safe. Most counties offer this service for free when the proper funding is available. However, some places do require a small fee to obtain the service as they are not as fortunate to have the funds available to offer the service for free. The fee is usually under $15 a month for 12 months so the cost is still much more affordable than any childcare service. The program may not be as good as a childcare facility but at least it does offer a piece of mind for those parents who are not able to be home with their children.
Many states and communities offer programs to help in situations with at risk students and children. I feel that the most important contributions to these students are the parents. Any student especially an at risk student needs to have the support of their parents and families. These programs are offered to help in assisting with keeping these students safe and on track the rest is up to the parents.


Latchkey kids calling program. (2012). Retrieved from

Unlock the door to successful latchkey-kid parenting. (2009). Retrieved from

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