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Report: Modest Gains for WA Children of Color, But More Work Needed

Increasing opportunities for parents help create economic stability for families of all races. (Pfc. Loren Cook/Flickr)
Increasing opportunities for parents help create economic stability for families of all races. (Pfc. Loren Cook/Flickr)
October 24, 2017

SEATTLE – A new report reveals the persistent disparities for children of color and those in immigrant families, in Washington state and across the country.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's "2017 Race for Results" report measures key milestones in child well-being across racial and ethnic groups. It found modest gains for Evergreen State children of color from the last Race for Results report in 2014 but showed the state still has work to do provide equitable opportunities to all kids.

Paola Maranan, head of the Children's Alliance, says it's imperative for the state to lift up communities of color.

"Every child has the potential to enrich our state with their time, talents and dreams for themselves and the people they love," she says. "Parents, elected officials and other community leaders can push for stronger measures to ease the barriers that children of color face."

Maranan says children in immigrant families lag behind U.S.-born families in opportunities for well-paying jobs and access to education that meets their needs, and that keeping immigrant families together is key to their success.

Laura Speer, the associate director of policy reform and advocacy at the Casey Foundation, says kids are the future parents, workers and leaders of the country, and when all children have access to opportunities, the nation will benefit.

"As they get older, these kids are going to drive local and state economies," she notes. "They're going to contribute to their communities and they're really going to be the driving force in ensuring that we're all better off in the long run."

Speer says that programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, tax credits, housing and child care have lasting positive effects for families of all races.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA