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.
This KIDS COUNT data snapshot finds 80 percent of fourth-graders from low-income families and 66 percent of all fourth-graders are not reading at grade level. While improvements have been made in the past decade, reading proficiency levels remain low. Given the critical nature of reading to children’s individual achievement and the nation’s future economic success, the Casey Foundation offers recommendations for communities and policymakers to support early reading. Early reading proficiency rates for the nation and each state are provided.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest KIDS COUNT policy report, The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success, presents a strong case for investing in the early years of a child's life. Decades of brain and child development research show that kids who enter kindergarten with below-average language and cognitive skills can catch up — but only if they are physically healthy and have strong social and emotional skills.
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.