All of Nebraska’s children deserve the opportunity to grow up to be happy, healthy, successful adults. Our state does many things right, and there is no doubt that our’s is a great state to be a kid. But despite our many successes as a state, there are things we need to fix.
Data and research on kids in Nebraska guides Voices for Children’s policy priorities and serve as a support for the work that we do to help ensure improvements in child well being regardless of race, poverty or geography. In the spirit of Halloween, here are the 5 scariest statistics on children and families in Nebraska:
1) 43% of Nebraska kids have experienced 1 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). These are potentiall traumatic events a child’s life that can have negative, lifelong effects on health and well being. The most common ACEs experienced by Nebraska kids are economic hardship, divorce, having a family member with alcohol problems, and having a parent incarcerated.
2) Only 3% of eligible school districts in Nebraska have enrolled in the Community Eligibility Provision. Community Eligibility fights hunger by allowing all children at schools where 40% or more of the students are from low-income families to receive free school meals.
3) Nebraska’s children of color make up 45% of children in out-of-home placements, but only represent 31% of our child population.
4) 55.8% of the youth held in Nebraska’s youth detention facilities were children of color, a disproportionality of nearly 2:1. If Nebraska is to remain strong into the future, all children must have a path to opportunity.
5) 46.3% of workers in Nebraska cannot earn paid sick days, making it harder for families to obtain economic stability and our communities less healthy.