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One-third of families don't have financial safety net, study finds

A study released Friday by a children's advocate finds 30 percent of kids in North Carolina live in homes that don't have a financial cushion against falling into poverty.

Action for Children North Carolina is paying close attention to families who don't have a backup plan if they lose their job or have a major setback. Study author Alexandra Sirota says struggling families without three months worth of savings are even more vulnerable during this recession.

"Because there's no income coming in through either work or other sources. And we know that in this current environment, especially, that number is probably growing," says Sirota.

The advocacy group is concerned that children in poverty would have fewer chances for economic success if their families don't have the tools to save and invest. During this tough budget year, Action for Children is pushing for continued support of affordable housing programs and incentives such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. The data shows that 28 percent of families in Mecklenburg County fall in this "asset poverty" category. In Gaston and Lincoln counties it's 26 percent, and in Catawba county it's 23 percent.