Every Fourth Child ... Still

Posted January 5, 2014
Updated January 16, 2014

In 1986 WRAL produced a documentary on child poverty called “Every Fourth Child." The title reflected that one out of every four children in our state were living in poverty. Today the child poverty rate in North Carolina is about the same. To find out why, the WRAL Documentary Unit went back and revisited some of the people profiled in the original “Every Fourth Child” documentary. The result is a new WRAL Documentary called “Every Fourth Child…Still” that reveals the cyclical nature of poverty and why it is such a difficult problem to solve. 

The original “Every Fourth Child” profiled two sisters and their six children living in poverty in rural Halifax County. It also profiled a community activist there and included insight from a poverty expert at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Every Fourth Child…Still” returns to Halifax County to profile one of the sisters and one of her grown daughters who now has children of her own. The program also revisits the community activist and poverty expert interviewed in the original documentary and profiles a new family living in poverty in the Triangle area to show that poverty can be found in our own communities.

“Every Fourth Child…Still” is hosted by WRAL News anchor and reporter Kelcey Carlson.


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  • Richard Hertz May 13, 2014
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    No one seems to learn anything other than if you don't anything more just do nothing and the government will give you something. So instead of striving for more and better things this woman did the same thing her mother did. Have kids she can't feed on her own. But she knows she can get a check for each kid so no big deal. And so the cycle continues.

  • saxtonhewitt Jan 17, 2014

    Brilliant deduction. Poeple are hurting so take away all their public assistance? I am not sure what the solution(s) is, I will leave that to the social/economic experts, but that certainly isn't it! You think most of these folks can just get up and go find a high-paying job? You use a big brush by intimating that they all just lazy. Shame on you.

  • angry voter Jan 17, 2014

    It is a terrible shame that children have to grow up this way. However, if their parents did not receive so much government assistance, perhaps they would work and pull themselves up by the bootstraps. When I was a child, we had very little, my mom worked in a factory in Ohio to provide for us. Back the there was no welfare or foodstamps people received "commodities" They received flour, cheese, beans and rice. That is all I remember, I was pretty young. Maybe we should revisit that "welfare". Just saying.