A project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation since 1990, KIDS COUNT is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States. KIDS COUNT exists to measure child outcomes and contribute to public accountability for those outcomes, resulting in a model for data-driven advocacy for children, their families, and their communities.
National KIDS COUNT Data Book
National 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book Highlights Gains in Health Despite Challenging Economic Climate
June 21, 2016 – Kentucky ranks 35th in the nation in overall child well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2016 national KIDS COUNT Data Book co-released by Kentucky Youth Advocates. The national KIDS COUNT Data Book provides state level data and rankings.
In addition to ranking 35th in overall child well-being, Kentucky ranks 38th in economic well-being, 27th in education, 16th in health, and 37th in the family and community domains. Notably, Kentucky’s health ranking continues to advance, from 28th in 2014 and 24th in 2015. Kentucky’s family and community ranking remains relatively steady, while its education ranking has risen slightly—but reflects mixed results. The most significant ranking drop is in economic well-being, where trends continue to worsen. Overall, Kentucky’s data trends mirror trends for the nation as a whole.
National Special Reports
A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities
April 25, 2016 – A Shared Sentence highlights the obstacles children who have had an incarcerated parent face throughout their lives. It focuses on solutions to mitigate the trauma children experience and ensure they have the best opportunity to succeed. The report offers several policy recommendations to help prioritize the needs of children with incarcerated parents. Read the report here and our state press release.
Every Kid Needs a Family: Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Success
May 19, 2015 – Every Kid Needs a Family emphasizes that kids do best when they grow up in a family, preferably their own. The report highlights the importance of keeping families together and placing children who cannot safely stay with their parents in family placements, such as kinship and foster families. It shows how communities can widen the array of services available to help strengthen families and support them in times of crisis. Read the report here and our state press release.
Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States
February 25, 2015 – Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States points to a different index for measuring poverty – the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which captures the positive impact that safety net programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and tax policies such as the Earned Income Tax Credit have on families. This new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot explains the SPM and how we can use stronger data to inform policies and understand solutions to poverty. Read the data snapshot here and our state press release here.
Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach
November 12, 2014 – Creating Opportunity for Family: A Two-Generation Approach makes the case for creating opportunity for families by addressing the needs of parents and their children simultaneously. The report describes the Foundation’s two-generation approach, which calls for connecting families with early childhood education, job training, and other tools to achieve financial stability and break the cycle of poverty, and recommends ways to help equip families with what they need to thrive. Read the report here and our state press release.
Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children
April 1, 2014 – Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children 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. Read the report here.
KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot on Early Reading Proficiency in the United States
January 28, 2014 – A new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that about two-thirds (64 percent) of Kentucky children are not meeting an important benchmark: reading at grade level at the start of fourth grade. In addition, Kentucky is one of only 12 states where the reading proficiency gap between students from higher- and lower-income families widened by more than 30 percent from 2003 to 2013. The data used in the snapshot is from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which has a higher standard for proficiency than Kentucky’s state reading assessment test. Read Early Reading Proficiency in the United States and our state press release.
The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success.
November 4, 2013 – The first eight years of a child’s life are critical for developing needed emotional and cognitive skills for children to thrive. This needs to start at home but many families face challenges including poverty that strain parents’ ability to ensure their children are receiving all the support they need to succeed. The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success presents a strong case for investing in quality early learning opportunities and supporting parents to ensure their young children are on the right track for success. Read the report and our state press release.
KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot on Reducing Youth Incarceration in the United States
February 27, 2013 – The national rate of locking up young people in trouble with the law dropped by more than 40 percent over a 15-year period, with no decrease in public safety. Kentucky’s declining rate mirrors the national trend and in 2010 Kentucky had the 18th lowest rate in the nation for youth incarceration. A new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation discusses trends and provides recommendations to further reduce the use of incarceration among youth. Read Reducing Youth Incarcerations in the United States and our state press release.
Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity
December 12, 2012 – Nearly 6.5 million teens and young adults in the U.S., including 110,000 in Kentucky, are not enrolled in school and not employed, even part-time. Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity, discusses the numerous obstacles these young people face. The report shows that the lack of education, opportunity and connection to school or work has long-term implications for disconnected youth. Read the report and our state press release.
Stepping Up for Kids: What Government and Communities Should Do to Support Kinship Families
May 23, 2012 – When biological parents can no longer raise their children or when children’s safety or well-being is at risk, grandparents, other relatives, and close family friends have traditionally stepped up as caregivers in Kentucky. Stepping Up for Kids: What Government and Communities Should Do to Support Kinship Families shows Kentucky has the second highest rate in the nation of children living with such “kin” caregivers. Between 2008-2010, an average of 6 percent of Kentucky children lived with kin, representing 63,000 children, up from 31,000 during 1999-2001. Read the report and our state press release.
KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot on Children Living in High-Poverty Communities
February 23, 2012 – The future prosperity of the Commonwealth depends on our ability to foster the health and well-being of the next generation. Wise investments in children and families today will be paid back by upcoming generations through a lifetime of productivity and responsible citizenship. A new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows Kentucky’s kids are in need of such investments. Read Children Living in America’s High Poverty Communities and our state press release.
Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters
May 18, 2010 – Sixty-four percent of Kentucky children in public schools are not proficient in reading. Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters finds that children who read on grade level by the end of third grade are more successful in school, work, and in life. For example, high school graduation can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by knowing a person’s reading skill at the end of the third grade. Read the report and our state press release.