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Colorado Ranks In The Middle On Child Well-Being Report

Kids, Children

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its annual report that assesses child well-being in the United States.

The publication ranked states on overall child welfare in four main categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. 

This year Massachusetts, Vermont, and Iowa ranked top on the list for child well-being while Nevada, New Mexico, and Mississippi ranked lowest.

KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke with Tara Manthey from the Colorado Children’s Campaign, a child advocacy group, about the report.

PALMISANO: “The report was released Tuesday. What does it say about Colorado?”

MANTHEY: “We went down from 21st last year to 22nd this year. What we’ve noticed is for several years we’ve been just right at the middle in that area and that means there are a lot of children in Colorado who are doing really well but we also have a really significant population of children who are not doing so well. While it looks like we are just average when you look deeper into the numbers it shows there are big gaps between how children are doing across the state.”

PALMISANO: “Where are those gaps? Where are we seeing these discrepancies?”

MANTHEY: “In all of the indicators, [economic well-being, education, health, and family and community] that we check and the Annie E. Casey Foundation uses to come up with this ranking…we see gaps between at risk or low-income children as well as children of color and their peers who have access to more resources.”   

PALMISANO: “How does the well-being of kids on the Front Range compare to kids on the Western Slope?”

MANTHEY: “What we find across Colorado is that it’s so diverse. There are mountain communities where you have resorts and high-average or medium-income. You have rural, agricultural based economies like the San Luis Valley and the southwest corner of the state. Just like across Colorado we have wide discrepancies in these indicators we also see that in county levels. Even where we have really high poverty rates like in the San Luis Valley there are still a lot of kids doing really well and a lot of kids who are not doing well. It’s just certain corridors like along the Western Slope, you have more kids who are not getting the services they need.”

Laura joined KVNF in 2014. She was the news director for two years and now works as a freelance reporter covering Colorado's Western Slope. Laura is an award-winning journalist with work recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Broadcasters Association, and RTDNA. In 2015, she was a fellow for the Institute for Justice & Journalism. Her fellowship project, a three-part series on the Karen refugee community in Delta, Colorado, received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
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