Friday, August 19, 2022

Play

A look at lack of representation as a deterrent for young voters; Maine's DOT goes green while Washington state aims to make homes more energy resilient; and a growing momentum for trauma-informed care.

Play

Florida judge says Mar-a-Lago search affidavit should be partially released, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization pleads guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud, and the Biden administration says it's moving monkeypox vaccine production to U.S.

Play

More women enter politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade, one owner of a small town Texas newspaper fights to keep local news alive, and millions of mental health dollars could help reduce the suicide rate among farmers and ranchers.

Report: Utah Among Top 5 States for Children's Well-Being

Play

Wednesday, June 23, 2021   

SALT LAKE CITY -- Families with children in Utah and other states remained mostly steady over the past year in an annual report on children's wellbeing, but it warns that a return to pre-pandemic levels of support could harm millions of kids.

The 2021 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation tracks children's health, education and family stability by state. Utah's overall ranking, based on 2019 data, dropped slightly, from fourth place to fifth.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, said states need to enact policies that ensure kids have food and housing security, mental-health care, and strategies to overcome racial inequality.

"We know that children who grow up in poverty have lower health outcomes," Boissiere explained. "They live in substandard housing that has issues like mold and lead that go untreated. Lower-income families live in poorer neighborhoods that have poorer-resourced schools, so their education outcomes tend to be worse."

The Data Book showed Utah made gains from 2010 to 2019 in most key indicators, but also saw increases in the rate of low birth-weight babies and child and teen deaths over the decade.

Martín Muñoz, data analyst at Voices for Utah Children, said perhaps the biggest gain for Utah kids is coming in July with the expansion of the federal
Child Tax Credit, which will directly provide families with $300 to $350 a month per child.

"With the number of children under 17, I believe they're close to a third of our population in Utah, it will make a significant difference in a lot of families to know that each month, they will have this money sent to their checking account," Muñoz contended.

He asserted making the tax credit permanent would be a major step toward eliminating childhood poverty.

Muñoz added while the current ranking, based on pre-pandemic data, is good, it could lull policymakers into a false sense of how Utah kids are really doing.

"That's where we need to make sure our legislators, our policymakers understand that we've slipped a little," Muñoz emphasized. "But how much more are we going to slip, once we start seeing the COVID effects on some of these numbers?"

The Casey Foundation has published its KIDS COUNT Data Book each year since 1990.

Disclosure: Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Earlier this year, nearly 1,300 Minnesotans participated in a new initiative that provides free schooling for people who want to become certified nursing assistants. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …


Health and Wellness

Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…

Environment

The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …


A new Indigenous academy in South Dakota, geared for younger students, says it wants the kids to have a deep sense of belonging, higher engagement and motivation. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…

Environment

Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …

hearing aids are not covered under Medicare or most insurance plans. (EdwardOlive/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …

Social Issues

Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…

Social Issues

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021