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Idaho Kids Count Report: Good News

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009   

BOISE, Idaho - The future is looking a bit brighter for Idaho's children, according to the new Kids Count Data Book released today. Idaho ranks 26th overall in the national report that tracks statistics and other indicators of success for the next generation, and University of Idaho Extension Family Development Specialist Harriet Shaklee sees a lot of good news in this year's report.

"There's an increase in high school graduation, we have a reduction in teen suicide, we have a reduction in juvenile arrests, we have a reduction in teen births, and these are all very positive trends for youth."

Shaklee, who is an Idaho Kids Count advisory board member, says some of the good news is tempered by the recession, and she says it will take partnerships on the family, neighborhood, state and national level to keep kids on track for success. She finds clues in the report that the recession is taking a bite out of child well-being.

"There's an uptick in children living in poverty, which of course is going to go along with the increased unemployment that we're seeing in Idaho, as well as in the nation."

There are however a couple of other "good news" indicators: The percent of low birth-weight babies in Idaho is below the national average and the percentage of children in single-parent families is staying low. Nationally, low birth-weights have been on the rise.

The full report for Idaho is at datacenter.kidscount.org




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