Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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Massachusetts steps up for Puerto Rico, the White House convenes its first hunger conference in more than 50 years, and hydroponics could be the future of tomatoes in California.

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Arizona's Sen. Kyrsten Simema defends the filibuster, the CBO says student loan forgiveness could cost $400 billion, and whistleblower Edward Snowden is granted Russian citizenship.

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The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Report: ID Child Well-Being Improves; Mental Health Top Concern

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022   

Idaho has made improvements to help the lives of children, according to a new report.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its annual Kids Count Data Book, measuring state policies for children based on four areas: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. The report ranks Idaho 18th overall.

Christine Tiddens, director of Idaho Voices for Children, notes the report contained positives and negatives for the state.

"We did well, or at least, better than other states, through COVID and the economic downturn," Tiddens pointed out. "But we do have low rankings in several key areas, such as health, that are bringing us down and an area that we're really focusing on."

The data was collected from 2020, the first year of the pandemic. The report ranks Idaho 14th for economic well-being, with the data showing the number of children in poverty in the state has decreased over the past decade to 14%.

But the report also showed mental-health issues increased among children and teens across the country in the first year of the pandemic. In Idaho, one in eight reported experiencing anxiety or depression in 2020.

Tiddens said unfortunately, it is no surprise.

"We know that Idaho youth have struggled with mental health for years," Tiddens acknowledged. "It's just the rising numbers that we've seen over the last couple of years should be a red flag, for all of us who are looking at policies and system investments."

Tiddens added her organization has recommendations for addressing the youth mental-health crisis, starting with increasing care services in schools.

"Getting mental-health professionals on staff, and making sure that we are working with local health providers, to ensure that there's resources and investments available for schools to be able to do this," Tiddens outlined.

Disclosure: The 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.


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