As part of this year’s Child Advocacy Day, Missouri KIDS COUNT® released the annual county rankings of child well-being. The county rankings this year are based on six indicators – poverty, food insecurity, preventable hospitalizations, child asthma ER visits, births to teens, and graduation rates. Several hundred child advocates attended the release event on April 6 in Jefferson City.
Trends and notable findings for 2017 include:
•Poverty generally is declining, but poverty density is increasing. More children are living in high poverty areas in Missouri, more children are homeless, and more children are uninsured.
•Births to teens, graduation rates and teen unintentional injuries are improving.
•Hospitalizations for children ages 1-19 have increased for both mental/behavioral and substance abuse diagnoses.
•Race Disparities – teen birth rates for Black/African American teens was 1.5 times that of Whites; child asthma ER rates for Black/African American children is more than 8 times that for Whites; the preventable hospitalizations and low birth weight rates for Blacks/African Americans are more than twice as high as for Whites.
Missouri Family and Community Trust (FACT) is a nonprofit organization serving as the Annie E. Casey Foundation sponsored KIDS COUNT® organization in Missouri. The Children’s Trust Fund is a collaborative partner with FACT and Missouri Kids Count and provides financial and other support for the project.