Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Play

Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.

Play

Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.

Play

The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

Report: Tennessee's 'State of the Child' is Improving

Play

Friday, January 13, 2023   

Tennessee's "State of the Child 2022" report is an assessment of how children are faring, and this year's edition focuses on the situation for children post-pandemic.

The report from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth examines kids' health and mental health, education, family economics, and the state's child welfare and youth justice data.

Richard Kennedy, executive director of the Commission, said a goal of the report is to keep children's issues on the minds of lawmakers and community partners across the state, as they discuss ways to make life better for kids and families. He added the report shows a significant improvement in one key area.

"I think the real story in the report is that Tennessee has seen a historic decline in child poverty," Kennedy pointed out.

The report showed between 2019 and 2021, the number of children in poverty declined by 8%, and among kids under age five, it decreased by 18%. However, the reasons behind are due in large part to the assistance many families received from the federal government during the pandemic.

The report noted Tennessee ranks 47th in the nation for young people experiencing a major depressive episode who did not receive mental health services; 71% in Tennessee compared to 60% nationally.

Kylie Graves, policy specialist for the Commission, said one concern is the availability of providers.

"Tennessee has some challenges in terms of just getting access to rural counties and rural communities," Graves explained. "Sometimes, if you're in one of those counties, finding a mental health provider can be really challenging."

Graves acknowledged the Tennessee Department of Education has been working to invest in mental health providers in schools. She added a child is six times more likely to maintain and receive mental health treatment if it is offered in a school rather than a community-based setting.

The report found Tennessee struggles with foster care placements, and even had the highest rate of foster care instability in the nation from 2016 to 2020. Kennedy asserted it is a call to action, saying the state needs more families who are trained and able to open their homes to the variety of young people in need of foster care.

"So, I think the real need is that Tennesseans who have ever considered fostering, have ever considered being a support for a foster parent, should really step forward and be willing to volunteer to do that," Kennedy urged.

One factor in foster care instability is a child's age. Tennessee trends above the national average, with a higher percentage of kids ages 11-16, an age group typically harder to place in foster care.


get more stories like this via email
The VOTES Act also ensures the Commonwealth joins the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a multi-state consortium which aims to keep voter registration rolls up to date, encourage voter registration and prevent voter fraud. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting rights advocates in Massachusetts are applauding Governor Maura Healey's budgetary backing of new policies stemming from last year's passage of…


Environment

Climate-change groups are calling attention to the environmental destruction linked to the wood pellet industry - even as California is considering a …

Social Issues

Many Nebraskans know how crucial a family caregiver is to one of their family members. Now AARP research has put a dollar value on that unpaid care - …


Going back generations, many Indigenous cultures developed strong ties with bison and relied upon them for sustenance, shelter, and cultural and religious practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

South Dakota is home to one of the nation's largest American Indian reservations, and the area is part of a movement among tribal nations to take …

Health and Wellness

As the cost of food, medicine and rent continues to climb, new data shows the benefits miners receive are now 40% less than what they received in 1969…

Stedman farmer Demi Tucker has been growing mushrooms on her family's land for the past few years. (Demi Tucker)

Environment

With the cost of farmland up by more than 8% percent in North Carolina, the state's Black farmers are struggling to purchase additional acreage or …

Environment

By Zachary Shepherd and Kelsey Paulus for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Co…

Social Issues

Texas' GOP-dominated legislature is considering bills to flip the script on powers traditionally afforded home-rule cities, instead forcing them to …

 

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