Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Play

Connecting health outcomes to climate solutions and lower utility bills, Engagement Center finding success near Boston's troubled 'Mass and Cass' and more protections coming for PA Children's Service providers.

Play

Georgia breaks a state record for early voting, Democrats are one step closer to codifying same-sex marriage, and Arizona county officials refuse to certify the results of the midterm elections.

Play

A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

SD Ranks Near Middle for Child Well-Being

Play

Tuesday, June 22, 2021   

PIERRE, S.D. -- A mixed bag of news can be found for South Dakota in the latest report measuring child wellbeing in the U.S.

As families emerge from the pandemic, policy experts said there are actions state and federal leaders can take to keep kids on the right path.

The Kids Count data book, released annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ranks South Dakota 20th overall for child well-being. The report details indicators such as economic stability, health and education.

Leading up to the crisis, the state saw improvement in reducing childhood poverty, with 15% of kids statewide under that category, down from a decade ago.

Xanna Burg, KIDS COUNT coordinator for South Dakota, said the numbers are still too high.

"Back in 2019, 31,000 South Dakota children lived in poverty," Burg recounted. "So for comparison, that's like every first- through third-grader in the state living on too little."

The report also included snippets of post-pandemic data. Survey data from last year showed 16% of South Dakota households with children were unsure they could pay their next rent or mortgage payment. Burg noted uncertainty was higher for families of color.

The Foundation called on federal lawmakers to make permanent the Child Tax Credit expansion under the American Rescue Plan, so families don't fall back into deep financial struggles.

South Dakota ranked 33rd in health, with 18,000 kids lacking health-care coverage.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, said the health data should spur the state to take a step many other states have taken over the past decade.

"One of the recommendations is to pass Medicaid expansion in those states that have not passed it already," Boissiere stated. "And we've seen the states who have Medicaid expansion have a significant lower number of children and families who are uninsured."

The Affordable Care Act provides federal subsidies for a Medicaid expansion, and the American Rescue Plan offers added incentives.

Currently, a pair of petitions are being circulated to get the issue on the South Dakota ballot next year. The report also recommended the state invest more in early child education, with 61% of South Dakota eighth-graders not proficient in math.

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


get more stories like this via email
The city-run Engagement Center is a low-barrier day facility, which serves a few hundred people each day from the nearby "Mass and Cass" area, offering everything from bathroom facilities and a clean bed to referrals to drug-treatment facilities, dental care and even writing groups. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Boston's 'Mass and Cass' area, with its large homeless population and open-air drug market, remains a trouble spot for city officials, but staff at …


Social Issues

Maryland's Juvenile Restoration Act has been in effect for more than a year now and its impact has people talking about additional reforms. The act …

Social Issues

Local candidates that signed onto a no-corporate-money pledge made midterm election gains in Charleston. Katie Lauer, co-chair of West Virginia …


Research indicates that the number of women who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury secondary to domestic violence is 11 to 12 times greater than experienced by military personnel and athletes combined. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new statewide initiative aims to help connect domestic-violence survivors with medical providers, with a focus on treating traumatic brain injury…

Environment

A successful program that helps low-income households weatherize homes and lower energy bills is setting its sights on improving the health outcomes o…

Around 56% of those surveyed by Pew Research view climate-change policies as good for the environment. However, Americans are split on whether those policies help or harm the U.S. economy. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

This story is based on original reporting by Elizabeth McGowan for Energy News Network, and is part of the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News …

Social Issues

In just two months, it should be easier for providers of children's services in Pennsylvania's child-welfare and foster-care system to get the …

Social Issues

Human-rights activists in New Hampshire say the growing number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills at the Statehouse is encouraging right-wing extremists to intimida…

 

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