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Report: “Fair to Middlin’” for OH Kids is not Good Enough

October 24, 2007

Columbus, OH – Ohio is in the middle of the pack, and that's not good enough for kids, according to experts meeting today. They're sharing a sneak peek at the new "Kids Count Data Book," which ranks Ohio as 28th in the nation when it comes to keeping kids healthy, safe, and in school. Ron Browder, with the Children's Defense Fund, thinks Ohio can do better for its next generation.

"We need to do a better job, because children in Ohio are pretty much stuck in the middle, and they're not getting the services or the support they need."

The complete "Kid's Count" findings will be released next week. Browder cites Ohio's foster care system as an example of an area that requires legislative attention, to ensure that children stay close to family when there are problems at home.

"We need programs so that, if children have to be removed from their parents, they are placed with their relatives, family members who can take care of them and provide for them, because children do better when they're with their families."

At the meeting, Browder says they'll outline how Ohio can do better for kids, but he believes most of the work is in the legislature's hands, on issues such as expanding health care coverage. Participants will also recognize four Ohio lawmakers today as "children's champions" for guiding children's issues through the statehouse. Senators Ray Miller and Joy Padgett, and Representatives Barbara Boyd and Jon Peterson, are receiving awards.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OH