New Data Indicates Ohio Kids' Basic Needs Not Being Met
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The basic needs of Ohio's children are not being met, according to the 2016 Kids Count Data Book.
The data released Tuesday ranked Ohio 26th for overall child well-being, the first time in four years the state has landed in the bottom half of states. Dawn Wallace-Pascoe, director of data and research for the Children's Defense Fund-Ohio, said the state is not doing well in areas of economic well-being.
"Things like the child poverty rate, an increase in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma, and children whose parents lack secure employment," she said. "These are the areas where we need to be focusing our efforts if we want to get Ohio out of the middle of other states."
The child poverty rate of 23 percent has worsened since 2008, according to the findings. Wallace-Pascoe said Ohio did best in health and educational indicators, with improvement in rates of low birthweight babies, kids without health insurance and reading proficiency among fourth- and eighth-graders.
The report noted that a record number of teens in so-called Generation Z are avoiding bad choices that could impact their future. Wallace-Pascoe said this positive finding comes despite the challenges they've faced growing up.
"Economic stability of their families, high child poverty rates, living in high poverty areas," she said. "They've overcome those obstacles and are in fact managing to do quite well in some of the key indicators."
From 2008 to 2014, Ohio saw teen birth rates drop 36 percent, a decline of 38 percent in teen drug and alcohol use and a 29 percent decrease in the percentage of teens not graduating on time. To ensure families have the resources to help children prepare for the future, the report suggested expanding high-quality pre-kindergarten and early childhood services, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers without kids, and implementing paid family leave.
The data is online at aecf.org.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Most people probably never give a second thought to their visits to the dentist, but not everyone can navigate this process with ease. People with …
Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, and toy drives around the country are in full swing. A North Dakota organizer shares some things to …
A federal judge in Nevada has dealt three tribal nations a legal setback in their efforts to stop what could be the construction of the country's larg…
Hoosiers could get their holiday trees from any of about 200 tree farms in the state, according to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association…
Reports from the Insurance Commissioner's office and the state Attorney General reveal an analysis of what they call "the true costs of health care" i…
Health and Wellness
The holiday season is filled with recipes passed down from years before, and feasting with family and friends. But think again before you have …
Connecticut lawmakers are reluctant to approve new emission standards that would require 90% cleaner emissions from internal-combustion engines and re…
While lawmakers and environmental groups strive to lower vehicle emissions and the nation's carbon footprint, many truckers see unrealistic …