I reported on the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count data for WFPL. What I found most interesting was Kentucky Youth Advocates director Terry Brooks‘ assertion that Kentucky’s poor performance in economic criteria could indicate an impending drop in other areas.

Brooks says if more children are living in poverty, then eventually more children will be sick or absent from school, etc. He argues that fixing the child poverty problem is the first step toward lifting Kentucky out of the bottom of the Kids Count rankings.

The WFPL story, with links:

The latest Kids Count report has ranked Kentucky 40th in the nation for overall child well-being.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation produced the report. It compares states based on various quality of life criteria. Kentucky Youth Advocates director Terry Brooks says the commonwealth’s low ranking is due largely to economic factors.

“Kentucky is 48th in the nation in the percentage of children who live in homes where neither parent has secure employment,” he says. “We rank at the very bottom in terms of the percentage of children who live in poverty.”

Brooks says those areas are leading indicators that signal an impending drop in other areas that contribute to quality of life. He says insurance and tax reforms in the General Assembly could help lift many children out of poverty.

Kentucky did show improvement in several areas, including teen and infant mortality rates. Indiana was ranked 33rd in overall child well-being.