Poverty,Overweight,Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,Child,Well-being,Southwest Florida,Social determinants of h

Kids Count report: Many area children living in poverty

January 9, 2017
in Kids

(Photo: Special to news-press.com) Children in Southwest Florida are falling behind compared to the health and well-being of children around the state, a report released today shows. More children in Collier and Lee counties live in poverty and rely on food stamps, are uninsured and overweight, and have gone through maltreatment dispositions compared to their counterparts statewide, according to a Florida Kids Count report. “Kids in poverty don’t develop as well, and it’s not just (in) the present, it’s in the future,” Norin Dollard, director of Florida Kids Count, based at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said. “The number of kids living in concentrated poverty has increased despite the economic recovery. There are lots of households spending more on housing costs and quality child care is expensive.” The Kids Count report is part of a nationwide project of the Annie. E. Casey Foundation, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The foundation tracks the status of children nationwide to provide useful data to legislators and other policymakers to develop strategies to improve child well-being. The privately-operated philanthropic organization, with assets exceeding $2.5 billion at the end of 2015, provides grants to help agencies and communities address issues affecting children as a social investment to improve their prospects. The Annie E. Casey Foundation releases the Kids Count data annually, where the data released over the summer shows Florida fell from an overall state well-being ranking of 37 to 40. What’s new is county level data, she said. The last county level reports came out in 2009, using data from 2003 through 2008, Dollard said. The overall well-being ranking looks at 16 measurements regarding economic status, education, health and family services. “We have made improvements in several of the 16 indicators, but the problem is other states are doing more to get better results,” Dollard said....

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