Utah KIDS COUNT Project Releases Annual Data - 2018 edition shows highs and lows for kids

27 September 2018 Written by  

The Utah KIDS COUNT Project’s annual data release, Measures of Child Well-Being in Utah, provides timely, accurate, and accessible data on how kids are doing in Utah. KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state by state effort to track the well-being of children. For 23 years Voices for Utah Children has been the Utah KIDS COUNT grantee. This year’s report provides state and county data for over 25 indicators of child well-being. By providing high-quality data and trend analysis, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children and to raise the visibility of children’s issues through a nonpartisan, evidence-based lens.

But how can collecting data help kids? Data can help policymakers and advocates identify problems that require action. Data can identify successful policies that should be continued or expanded. As resources become more limited, data can help policymakers track whether taxpayer dollars are being effectively invested to maximize limited resources. Data also helps service providers document the need for programs as they write grants to support Utah’s children and their families. Data is the foundation. We need to have reliable data on children to help us make the best decisions to help every child in Utah reach their full potential.

All children need quality health care, education and economic stability to thrive. There are many children doing very well in Utah, but also a lot of kids who are struggling. The KIDS COUNT data is an important tool to help local and state policymakers, as well as committed individuals in communities, focus on proven solutions in areas where kids need the most help.

Meeting the health, educational, and social needs of our children is an important task. This data is a necessary tool for all those working with youth, be it advocacy, media, service providers, or policymakers.

This year’s data includes information on kids from prenatal care through high school graduation, as well as information on family make-up and family economic conditions. Data shows:
• While children remain 34% of our population, there has been an increase of 15,168 children in Utah since our 2016 publication.
• Improvements in the teen pregnancy rate and in uninsured rates for children.
• A slight decrease in the percent of women receiving adequate prenatal care, a quarter of Utah’s women do not receive adequate care.
• Slight rises in infant mortality and injury deaths.
• A slight decrease in the percent of children living in poverty, though the poverty rate is varied across Utah counties with a high of 32.5% and a low of 4.3.
• Once again, we saw a rise in the rate of teens contracting chlamydia

Children are 34% of our population in Utah and 100% of our future. Let’s make sure KIDS COUNT!

Data pages for each county will be available on our website. Data may also be accessed on the KIDS COUNT Data Center at http://datacenter.kidscount.org

 

Terry Haven 300Terry Haven, Deputy Director, joined the organization in 1996. She researches and publishes the annual Utah KIDS COUNT data book that reports on the well-being of Utah's children by county. She analyzes U.S Census data and provides data support for all Voices issue areas. She also conducts trainings and provides technical assistance on data work for community groups. Terry is the point person at Voices for our work on Intergenerational Poverty and two-generation strategies for moving children and their families out of poverty. This includes working with the Intergenerational Poverty Commission Research Subcommittee and focusing on chronic absence.Terry works with a number of national partners including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ascend Fund at the Aspen Institute, and Attendance Works to help further the mission of Voices for Utah Children. Her academic background is in sociology, with a Bachelors degree and Masters degree from the University of Wyoming.