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2016 Kids Count in Nebraska Report

2016 Kids Count in NebraskaToday, we are excited to debut the 2016 Kids Count in Nebraska Report! Kids Count continues to be the most comprehensive source of data on the well-being of children in Nebraska and covers data in population, health, education, economic stability, child welfare, and juvenile justice and contains Voices for Children’s Index of Race and Opportunity for Nebraska Children, 32 county-level indicators, and our commentary on Emerging Adults. We are especially thrilled to launch our Kids Count NEteractive data site, our new online data center containing all the data you have come to know and love in the Kids Count Report, but in a searchable, easy to navigate tool optimized for use on the go. With this and our county-level NEteractive maps, Kids Count is now accessible wherever you go without bringing along the full 120 page report. Over the next few weeks we will dive further into the commentary and some data highlights in the report here on the blog. Thank you for reading and we hope that Kids Count continues to be helpful on the journey to ensure all Nebraska kids have the opportunity to lead the happy and healthy life they deserve.

Kids Count NEteractive

County-level NEteractive Maps:

Download the Kids Count pdf

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Detained: Nebraska’s Problem with Juvenile Incarceration

An effective juvenile justice system holds young people accountable for their actions in age-appropriate
ways that best promote community safety. Our children and citizens alike are entitled to a system that will
offer the best return on investment, by providing the right package of accountability and supports to change
anti-social behaviors. A pragmatic approach to juvenile justice invests in evidence-based programs and
services, and eschews costly practices that are unsupported by research.

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Voices Releases “Juvenile Injustice” Issue Brief

When children get in trouble with the law, our system should ensure they are held accountable for their actions in an age-appropriate, fair and just way. No one should face trial and punishment without understanding their rights, the possible consequences, and the reasons why; this is particularly true for young people, who are especially vulnerable to pressure from authority and may not fully understand the long-term ramifications of their choices and actions.

Having a lawyer to provide legal advice and represent a child in court provides a safeguard to ensure justice is served in a manner that protects both the community and the child accused.  However, all too often in our state, young people aren’t getting access to counsel. Today we are releasing our latest issue brief, “Juvenile Injustice,” diving into the data and highlighting the need for more equitable access to legal counsel in juvenile cases across Nebraska.

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A Shared Sentence: the devastating toll of parental incarceration

Casey Incarceration Report_Nebraska_Total Number

Last month, the Annie E. Casey Foundation recommended to state and local policymakers the adoption of policies that would help millions of children and families nationwide deal with the emotional and financial instability inflicted as a result of having an incarcerated parent, in the policy report A Shared Sentence: the devastating toll of parental incarceration on kids, families and communities.

More than 41,000, or 9%, of kids in Nebraska have a parent who has been or is currently incarcerated. While punishments for a committed crime is necessary, our country’s practice of mass incarceration is flawed and costly, and the impacts of incarceration extends beyond the adults to their children effectively breaking up families. The absence of a parent to incarceration is felt economically with the lost source of income or child support as well we socially with the stigma associated with having a parent who is incarcerated. The creation of this unstable environment can have lasting effects on a child’s development and well-being which can multiple depending on where the child lives.

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Equality Before the Law: Commentary Series Part 7, Final Index Scores and Recommendations

This year’s Kids Count in Nebraska Report featured a commentary debuting our new Index of Race & Opportunity for Nebraska Children. After spending the last 6 weeks introducing the commentary and detailed our methodology, and diving into the 13 indicators by issue area: healtheducation, economic stability, child welfare and juvenile justice, we will wrap up the series with today’s 7th and final post on this year’s commentary. 

After collecting the data for the 13 indicators of child well-being and prediction of future opportunity, we calculated our overall index score to create a measure of opportunity for Nebraska children based on the color of their skin. We expected to see differences in overall scores based on the disparities that we saw when looking at the individual pieces of data, but the actual scores surprised everyone here at Voices. We knew disparities in opportunity existed, but did not expect them to be so extensive.

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2015 Kids Count in Nebraska Report

The 23rd edition of the Kids Count in Nebraska Report continues to offer a visually-oriented data in each of Voices for Children’s 5 issues areas: health, education, child welfare, juvenile justice and economic stability. Each year we build upon the report to hopefully improve the most comprehensive source of data on child well-being in Nebraska with each new release.

In addition to the same data that has been included year after year, you will find a few new pieces of data. This year’s report is also joined by our new online county data tool – Kids Count NEteractive. All of the data that is available by county at the end of the Kids Count in Nebraska Report is also now featured on our interactive map tool on our website

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Barriers to Economic Opportunity for Low Income Women

Families should be able to achieve financial security through hard work and we should ensure that policies support working families. Financially secure parents can provide their children with adequate housing, child care, health care, food and transportation. As a state, one of the best ways that we can improve childhood outcomes is to create policies that help parents succeed.

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Supporting Informal Kinship Families in Nebraska

Children thrive in a stable and loving home with a family that offers support in a safe environment. Research tells us that the relationships that children have with the adults in their lives are an extremely important component of successful development. Without these relationships, children have an increased risk of lasting health, behavioral, and psychosocial issues.

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Voices for Children Releases Pro-Kid Policy Plan for Nebraska

As the independent voice for kids, Voices for Children in Nebraska is committed to building pathways to opportunity for all children and families through research, policy and community engagement.

As part of this commitment, we are releasing the first of its kind “Pro-Kid Policy Plan for Nebraska.” Guided by research,  data and proven best practices for kids, this plan offers a road map to shape public policy in a way that puts children first.

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