Are the kids all right? New data tracks wellbeing of children in Missouri

Apr 5, 2013

Credit Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

A new report that tracks the wellbeing of Missouri children indicates some improvements in infant mortality and teen pregnancy rates, but it also shows an increased number of abused and neglected children in the state.

Kids Count in Missouri released the latest edition of its data book Tuesday. The annual publication is produced by Partnership for Children, Children’s Trust Fund, and the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis. The data is produced in a large part for Missouri legislators. But Erin Brower with the Partnership for Children says many other child supporters also use the book.

“The goal is to use the data in the book to really influence policy,” Brower said. “But we also want the advocates to have the right data too so they can back up their arguments. And the data really pushes the arguments.”

The latest numbers confirm overall state trends, such as a decrease in the number of births to mothers without high school diplomas and an increase in out-of-home placement entries. Tracy Greever-Rice, an analyst for the publication, says the book is about more than just a set of numbers.

“It’s used for advocacy.” Greever-Rice said. “It’s used for telling stories, explaining to local planners and policy makers what’s going on with their kiddos.”

Go here for a full copy of the report.