The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual report on child well-being — the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book — focuses on the state of America’s children in the midst of the country's economic recovery. While data show improvements in child health and education, more families are struggling to make ends meet, and a growing number of kids live in high-poverty neighborhoods. In addition to ranking states in several areas of child well-being, the Data Book also examines the influence of parents’ education, health and other life circumstances on their children.
This report highlights state data that point to the urgent need to ensure that everything possible is being done to find loving, nurturing and supported families for children in foster care. The report also highlights the ways that state and local government leaders can work together as they strive to help the 57,000 children who are living in group placements. The report recommends how communities can help parents and children within their own homes. And it shows ways in which residential treatment can help young people return to families more quickly.
The federal government’s official poverty measure, created in the 1960s, fails to illustrate the effect of programs designed to help families succeed. This data snapshot highlights the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which captures the effect of safety-net programs and tax policies on families. By using the SPM, researchers have determined that the child poverty rate has declined from 33% to 18% as a result of these programs and policies. Child poverty rates using the SPM are provided for the nation and each state.
Nearly half of the nation's families with young children struggle to make ends meet. This report makes the case for creating opportunity for families by addressing the needs of parents and their children simultaneously. The report describes the Foundation's two-generation approach, which calls for connecting families with early childhood education, job training and other tools to achieve financial stability and break the cycle of poverty, and recommends ways to help equip families with what they need to thrive.
The 25th edition of Casey’s annual report on child well-being — the 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book — examines how U.S. children have fared since 1990. While national and state policies have resulted in positive gains in child health and education, the Data Book notes a decline in the economic well-being of children and the communities in which they live. In addition to its retrospective analysis, the report looks at the latest data and uses 16 key indicators to rank states on child well-being.
In this policy report, the Casey Foundation explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity. The report features the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level. The index is based on 12 indicators that measure a child’s success in each stage of life, from birth to adulthood, in the areas of early childhood; education and early work; family supports; and neighborhood context. The report also makes four policy recommendations to help ensure that all children and their families achieve their full potential.
In its latest KIDS COUNT data snapshot, the Casey Foundation finds that the rate of young people locked up because they were in trouble with the law dropped more than 40 percent over a 15-year period, with no decrease in public safety. The snapshot indicates that the number of young people in correctional facilities on a single day fell to 70,792 in 2010, from a high of 107,637 in 1995. The publication also recommends ways to continue reducing reliance on incarceration and improve the odds for young people involved in the justice system.
Nearly 6.5 million U.S. teens and young adults are neither in school nor in the workforce. With employment among young people at its lowest levels since the 1950s, these youth are veering toward chronic unemployment as adults and failing to gain the skills employers need in the 21st century. In addition to new national and state data on the issue, this KIDS COUNT policy report offers recommendations to support youth in gaining a stronger foothold in the economy.
This new report reveals that extended family and close friends care for more than 2.7 million U.S. children. This longtime practice, known as kinship care, has become more prevalent over the past decade, with an 18 percent increase in the number of youths raised by relatives. In fact, an estimated one out of 11 kids will live with extended family for at least three consecutive months at some point before age 18.