skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

State of Child report: One in five children younger than 5 lives in poverty

play audio
Play

Tuesday, January 23, 2024   

Tennessee's "State of the Child" 2023 report shows some progress, but also highlights ongoing areas of concern. From the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, the report examines kids' health and mental health, education, family economics, child care and the state's child-welfare and youth-justice data.

Kylie Graves, director of policy and legislative affairs for the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, said a key finding is that, among children of all age groups, those younger than five are most likely to live in poverty. The proportion of those children living in poverty has increased to one in five.

"We did see in 2022 17.6% of children in Tennessee lived below the federal poverty line," Graves said. "That is still too high and too many of our kids, but it is closer to the national average than we've ever been. Nationally, that number was 16.3%."

Graves said the report showed between 2019 and 2021, the number of children in poverty declined. But between 2021 and 2022 among Tennessee kids younger than age five, it increased to 20%. However, the increase or decrease associated with the child poverty rate over the last couple of years was not due to pandemic assistance.

Richard Kennedy, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, said the report highlights the continued decline in teen risk behaviors such as substance use, but mental health challenges have continued to increase. He pointed out that the Tennessee General Assembly has focused on increasing resources for access to mental health.

"We know that access to high-quality, easily accessible mental health services, especially those that are in school-based settings, can really provide those additional supports and services for young people, as they grow into adults that will help them be more successful, better citizens going forward," Kennedy explained.

Graves said the report finds progress in child welfare and neglect, including Tennessee's extended foster care, giving young people more time in the system and smoother entry into adulthood.

"In fiscal year 2023, 369 youths accepted extension of foster-care services; that's the second-largest number ever accepted," said Graves. "So, we're seeing that program expand, which just means that we're helping more and more kids bridge that transition that can be really challenging, and can be a cause of a lot of negative social behaviors."

Graves emphasized that Tennessee's rate of substance-exposed newborns is well below the national average, and the state has a successful "plan of safe care" program that helps keep mothers and babies together safely. Nearly 99% of these infants have such a plan, which is much higher than the national average of 70.4%, the report said.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Several Mississippi correctional facilities offer both short-term (12 weeks) and long-term (six months) alcohol and drug programs with individual and group counseling for treating alcohol and drug addictions. (Wesley JvR/peopleimages.com)

Social Issues

play sound

Mississippi prisons often lack resources to treat people who are incarcerated with substance-use disorders adequately but a nonprofit organization is …


Social Issues

play sound

April is Second Chance Month and many Nebraskans are celebrating passage of a bipartisan voting rights restoration bill and its focus on second chance…

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico saw record enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act this year and is now setting its sights on lowering out-of-pocket costs - those n…


Migrants are put on buses from Texas to other states, often without knowing where they are going. (afishman64/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The future of Senate Bill 4 is still tangled in court challenges. It's the Texas law that would allow police to arrest people for illegally crossing …

Social Issues

play sound

Residents in a rural North Carolina town grappling with economic challenges are getting a pathway to homeownership. In Enfield, the average annual …

Social Issues

play sound

A new poll finds a near 20-year low in the number of voters who say they have a high interest in the 2024 election, with a majority saying they hold …

Social Issues

play sound

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for the country's growing labor movement. Justices will hear oral arguments in Starbucks …

 

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