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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure build-up a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Report: Overall child well-being ranking slightly slips in IN

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024   

Indiana ranks 27th in child well-being, according to the 2024 Kids Count Data Book by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, slipping three spots from last year.

The latest findings highlighted the need for Indiana leaders to better prepare children for future success as the state faces significant economic impacts due to current shortcomings.

Ashley Haynes, vice president of data and communications for the Indiana Youth Institute, stressed the need for more investment in education and well-being to ensure all children have equal opportunities to succeed.

"There are definitely some areas the data may have gotten worse or going in the wrong direction for kids but also because it's a comparison to other states," Haynes pointed out. "Other states may have just gotten better at something faster."

Data revealed several positive trends for Hoosier families. From 2019 to 2022, 75% of Indiana parents secured full-time employment, outpacing neighboring states. Housing affordability improved, with only 22% of children living in high-cost households, compared with the national average of 30%. Additionally, 95% of teens were enrolled in school or employed by 2022.

"I think that's just speaking to the trend of more of our Hoosier kids being engaged," Haynes noted. "Whether that is in school when they're still in that 16-18 high school range or when they're leaving school entering the workforce."

Despite gains, Indiana struggles with 30% of eighth graders achieving proficiency in math in 2022, an 11% drop from 2019. Chronic absenteeism also remains high, particularly among Black and disabled students.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, said a large percentage of U.S. children have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience.

"Trauma can have a significant effect on a child," Boissiere stressed. "Forty percent of children experience one or more adverse childhood effects, which could be divorce, incarceration of a parent, experience of domestic violence or even witnessing somebody subjected to a violent act."

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


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