By Branden Polk
On October 24, 2017, the Annie E. Casey Foundation gathered child advocates to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. for the launch of its latest KIDS COUNT policy report. This report provides dependable data along with best practice and legislative recommendations to policymakers, public officials, and practitioners that will effectively serve children and families.
The Race for Results 32-page document examines the relationship between children, race, and opportunity using a new Race for Results Index. The index compares the development of children related to key milestones based on 12 indicators; measuring from birth to adulthood, across racial lines, at the state and national levels.The data from this report reinforces that where children live is a factor for success in this country, especially for children of color.
Children of color will represent the majority of children in the United States by 2018. While the report is clear that not one group of children belonging to a particular racial group are hitting all milestones; there are significant disparities present for Black and Latino children.The report addresses concerns related to housing, lack of adequate funding for schools, juvenile justice systems, immigration status, and racial profiling.
Overall, while courageously delivering the dire results for children of color, the report inspirationally communicates that we can create more opportunity for all children. It recommends, that we increase efforts to gather and use data to create more effective evidence-based programming that generates positive impact in measurable outcomes. It is true that many organizations have been working tirelessly for years to address our societal inequities. That should be no overlooked. However, we also cannot ignore the alarming data in front of us today. We can do more to make sure that all children have the chance to achieve their dreams and become contributing members of society; no matter their race or zip code.