The KIDS COUNT: The State of the Child 2005 report released today by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth provides a look at the state’s regions and its urban areas. The report brings together information on measures of health, education, child welfare, economics and demographics.
“All regions can celebrate areas of strengths, and all have challenges for improving outcomes for children,” Linda O’Neal, TCCY executive director, said. “The recent interest of the Select Committee on Children and Youth brings an increased sense of urgency to the need to provide Tennessee children with opportunities to be born healthy and to succeed in school and in life.
“This year the General Assembly passed and the governor signed legislation with good public policy to improve the lives of children. Especially important are expansion of pre-kindergarten programs and Coordinated School Health Programs, the infant mortality and women’s health initiatives, and the new CoverKids program for uninsured children.”
The book contains information on 41 indicators of child well-being, eight primary indicators and 33 secondary indicators. The primary indicators – Child Abuse, School Suspensions, Children on TennCare, Adequate Prenatal Care, Teen Pregnancy, STD Rate, Children Remaining in Custody and Event Dropouts – are aggregated to provide a regional snapshot. They were chosen because of their correlation with outcomes for children and ability to provide regional comparisons.
While the report depicts the regional comparisons to the state, individual counties within regions may vary widely on various indicators.
The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is an independent agency created by the Tennessee General Assembly. Its primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families. Partial funding for TCCY’s KIDS COUNT program is provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to disadvantaged children.
For more information contact (615) 741-2633 or a TCCY regional coordinator. The book is available on TCCY’s website at www.tennessee.gov/tccy/kc-soc05.html.