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PNS Daily News - June 28, 2017 


Here’s a look at what’s making headlines: Republicans scramble after a vote on health care delayed; a Clean Water Rule repeal comes under scrutiny; and a chemical in a common weed killer declared a carcinogen by California.

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Missouri Gets Mixed Grades for Child Well-Being

New Annie E. Casey Foundation statistics rank Missouri 28th among states for providing resources to benefit children and families. (Annie E. Casey Foundation)
New Annie E. Casey Foundation statistics rank Missouri 28th among states for providing resources to benefit children and families. (Annie E. Casey Foundation)
June 13, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An annual report on child well-being ranks Missouri 25th in the nation for providing children vital supports. The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book examines economic well-being, education, health, and family and community factors that influence children's growth and development.

On the plus side, it says an historic number of Missouri children have health insurance, and more Missouri parents are employed this year compared with last. However, Bill Dent, executive director of Missouri's Family and Community Trust, says there are still problems for poor families who live in rural areas.

"So many of those families find themselves in so much isolation just by the nature of their ZIP code, which makes it very difficult," Dent explains. "The resources are just not there, even if they wanted to get them."

The Casey Foundation is making a plea to state and federal policymakers not to back away from targeted investments, like the federal Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid. It says they've been proven to help children become healthier, more likely to complete high school and better positioned to contribute to the nation's economy.

And Dent believes in Missouri, the Family and Community Trust is in a good position to bring about positive changes.

"The beauty of our work is that the board that I serve also has cabinet-level leaders in state government on it, and it will help us have those conversations at the highest level," he says. "At least in state government, we can have an impact directly."

Dent says there are many examples of proven supports and interventions that help children achieve their full potential, regardless of race, ethnicity or ZIP code. He cites universal pre-Kindergarten and child tax credits among those examples.

Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - MO