Sunday, September 26, 2021


New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.


The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.


A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

COVID Pandemic Brings Stress, Health Issues to Utah Kids, Families


Tuesday, December 15, 2020   

PROVO, Utah -- The COVID-19 pandemic and its side-effects - job loss, poverty, hunger and the threat of homelessness - have hit Americans hard in 2020, and Utah families are not immune. A report out today from the Annie E. Casey Foundation studies how families are coping with the effects of the coronavirus.

Among other findings, it observed 20% of Utahns reported one or more family members have experienced significant mental-health issues. Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs with the Casey Foundation, said the pandemic has severely disrupted the lives of Utah's children.

"We can't even begin to address the social-emotional challenges that children are experiencing," Boissiere said. "The numbers are staggering, schools are reporting excessive absences. And I think we can expect an increase in learning loss when their education has been disrupted."

The study also found in Utah, 7% of adults do not always have enough to eat, while 12% of families are unsure if they can make their next rent payment. The national rates for food insecurity and housing concerns were almost twice as high.

Boissiere said the stresses people feel often come from being forced to make "impossible" choices.

"Many front-line workers have had to make hard choices between 'Do I go to work and risk my health, or do I stay home and risk not being able to provide for my family?'" She said.

Terry Haven, deputy director at Voices for Utah Children, said state policy-makers with a preference for lower taxes already had rendered Utah's safety net paper-thin by the beginning of the pandemic.

"How do we invest in kids? How do we make sure that we have the money available to do all the stuff we know we need to do - unless we raise taxes?" Haven asked. "We can't keep saying 'We're not going to raise taxes, we're not going to raise taxes,' when we have more and more kids every year in our public schools."

The report analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data gathered since the start of the pandemic to determine how well families were meeting their basic needs during a public health crisis.

Disclosure: Annie E Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …

Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…

According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021