Tag Archive: kids count

  1. 2022 KIDS COUNT Data Book Release

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    The 2022 KIDS COUNT Data Book was recently released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, an annually published resource that tracks child well-being nationally as well as state by state and ranks the states accordingly. The report is based on the latest available data for 16 key indicators. Policymakers, researchers, and advocates can continue to use this information to help shape their work and build a stronger future for children, families, and communities.

    View the full 2022 Data Book.

    The 2022 report includes the most recent data from 2020. Due to several challenges in data collection during the pandemic, several years of data needed to be aggregated for stable results. A letter from the Annie E. Casey Foundation President, Lisa Hamilton, highlights the most recent data we have that reflect how parents and families are faring during the pandemic. This letter highlights the 1.5 million children who are struggling to make it through the day.

    Overall, Virginia is ranked 13th in the nation. The data in this year’s report include both pre-pandemic and more recent figures. Here’s where Virginia lands in each domain:

    • Economic well-being: Virginia saw improvements in all four indicators compared to 2008-2012. There are 24,000 fewer children living in poverty and the percentage of children in families with no full-time employment decreased by 8% from 2016-2022. Additionally, the percent of teenagers who are not in school and are unemployed decreased by 29%. However, there are still 242,000 children living below a family income of $26,246 for a family of four.
    • Education: Virginia is in the top 10 at 6th place. The percentage of high school students not graduating on time decreased from 18% to 13% (2010-2011 vs. 2018-2019).
    • Health: Virginia ranks 24th. The percent of children without health insurance, improved from 7% to 5% from 2008-12 to 2016-20. But that is the only indicator to improve during the trend year. Children born with low birth weight, child and teen deaths, as well as child obesity increased.
    • Family and community factors: Virginia ranks 17th place. Teen birth rates dropped from 27 per 1,000 females to 13 per 1,000 females in 2010 to 13% in 2020, and the percent of children living in households where the head of household lacks a high school degree went from 10% to 9%. However, children in single parent households (31%) and children living in high poverty areas (5%) from trend years 2008-2012 to 2016-2020 remain the same.

    The Virginia KIDS COUNT data center includes these indicators and hundreds more at the state and even local level over time. For example, interested in learning more about the percent of children in poverty across Virginia? The Virginia KIDS COUNT data center has data available by locality and race. Learn more.

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  2. Zero to Three State of Babies Yearbook: 2021

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    Voices for Virginia’s Children is happy support the release of the State of Babies Yearbook: 2021 from our partners Zero to Three. This Yearbook resource includes downloadable, user-friendly reports, that include 60 indicators of wellbeing and policies to gauge how babies in Virginia are doing. This resource gives a pre-pandemic snapshot of key indicators related to specific topics. It also provides advocates and states leaders the ability to explore the data by race, ethnicity, and income.

    The story told this year includes the ingrained barriers families faced before the pandemic. The heightened challenges during the crisis points to the urgency of a national agenda of bold, durable policies that address deep-seated inequities and give every baby the ingredients to thrive. Here are some highlights pertaining to Virginia:


    • Virginia is home to 299,132 babies, representing 3.5 percent of the state’s population.
    • As many as 31.7 percent live in households with incomes less than twice the federal poverty line (in 2019, about $51,500 a year for a family of four), placing them at economic disadvantage.

    Good Health

    • Virginia performs better than national averages on key indicators, such as the percentages of babies breastfed at 6 months (62.2 percent);
    • and babies receiving recommended vaccinations (77.8 percent)
    • and mothers reporting less than optimal mental health (16.4 percent).
    • The state is performing worse than national averages on indicators such as the percentages of babies receiving preventive dental care (27.4 percent);
    • and uninsured babies in families with low income (5.7 percent).

    Strong Families

    • The state’s ranking in this domain reflects indicators on which it is performing better than the national average, such as the percentages of babies living in crowded housing (10.1 percent);
    • and babies experiencing housing instability, moved 3 or more times (1.0 percent).
    • Virginia is doing worse than the national average on indicators such as the percentages of parents who report being resilient (80.1 percent), in fact we rank at the very bottom of this indicator.

    Positive Early Learning Experiences

    • The state’s ranking in this domain reflects indicators on which it is performing better than the national average, such as the higher percentage of parents who report singing songs (61.5 percent).
    • Virginia is doing worse than the national average on indicators such as the lower percentage of infants and toddlers who received a developmental screening (29.5 percent).

    Read the full State of Babies Yearbook now.

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  3. Asian American Trauma Impacting Virginia’s Children


    There has been a 46% increase in acts of violence and discrimination of Asian Americans in the past year.

    According to data released by Stop AAPI Hate:

    • 3,800 reports of violence that ranged from stabbings, beatings, to deaths, were completed over the past year (March 19,2020-February 28th, 2021) of the pandemic for Asian Americans, which is significantly higher than the previous year’s number (2,600).
    • Of these assaults, youth up to age 17 made up over 12% of the incidents. 
    • Virginia made the list of the states with the greatest rate (11 rank at 1.29 and 49 cases).

    These numbers are powerful data points that partially quantify the scope of discrimination Asian Americans experience. These numbers only represent a small portion of the crimes that have actually occurred. There are several data challenges that point to rates much higher than we know. The Justice Department and FBI are required by a 1990 Hate Crime Statistics Act to publish an annual report on hate crime statistics. This source is the most comprehensive look at hate crimes across the country; however, incomplete due to the inconsistency of required reporting of law enforcement agencies. Out of the 18,000 agencies across the US, nearly 3,000 of them did not report data in 2019. In addition to the lack of reporting, under reporting of individuals who have experienced a hate crime is also common. Those individuals may be scared of retaliation or think that it wasn’t reportable due to the type or scope of the incident.

    In addition to underreporting by both the victim and law enforcement agencies, another challenge is the way in which race groups for those of Asian race are lumped together. In a study conducted by Washington Center for Equitable Growth in 2016, there are a many as 50 different races and ethnicities that can be classified under the broad term Asian American or Pacific Islander. By lumping race groups together and not capturing all the unique races and ethnicities that the term Asian race contains, it limits a complete picture of the patterns and trends occurring, which prohibit evidence-based solutions to be implemented equitably amongst all in the Asian community.

    What we do know is trauma, like the violence experienced by Asian Americans, impacts children. According to Census data obtained by the Virginia Kids Count Data Center:

    It is unclear what projections of percentages of child poverty will be in the coming future. Federal legislation like the Family First Act and the EITC amendment, will aid families with some economic relief, but other unknown factors such as the unemployment rate and when public health restrictions are lifted prohibit a clear picture. 

    Our goal is to ensure no child or person experiences a hate crime or any type of violence. Children experiencing trauma, which can be a single event or multiple events, can having lasting impacts on the individuals physical, social, emotion, or spiritual well-being. Racism is a driving factor that impacts the social determinant of our personal and public health, family economic security, housing, food security, and education. Immediately, we are seeing impact in decisions parents are making regarding children’s immediate learning environment in places like Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia, which is the largest district in Virginia.  According to  a recent presentation of the Fairfax school board regarding back to school instruction, in the spring of 2021 just over 30 percent of Asian families selected face-to-face instruction. This was the smallest return rate among any racial group in the district. While we may not have data like this is available for every school district across the state, it certainly verifies trends we are seeing in which violence and racism is visibly impacting children. A recent study of Asian American Youth found that one in 4 had been victims of racist bullying during the pandemic.

    One immediate step to address the reported rise in violence that legislators have taken includes the creation of an Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus.  Only meeting for the first time last week on National Day of Action and Healing to Stop Asian Hate, proclaimed by Governor Northam, this group has the potential to address root causes of this trauma at the policy level. 

    At Voices for Virginia’s Children, we are home to the Racial Truth campaign that serves to empower the voice of marginalized communities working on policy topics that address the severe effects of systemic oppression and intuitional inequality.  This is why we supported the resolution to declare racism as a public health crisis, and will continue to use both an equity and trauma lenses in all policy, advocacy, and data work we prioritize.

  4. An Update on the Census

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    The 2020 Census has come and passed, but the data and results from the surveys are still being tabulated.

    Last spring and summer, Census officials worked diligently to make sure we counted each and every person living in the United States. Since young children are the most missed demographic group in the Census, Research Director Lauren Snellings served as a trusted voice and advocate as a member of the Complete Count Commission, ensuring that each child in Virginia was counted. An accurate count makes sure that Virginia get its share in funding for government programs like SNAP and WIC, determines where we build new hospitals, schools, and roads, and even informs the boundaries for our legislative districts. 

    Now that collecting the survey data is complete, the Census Bureau is working on processing the data which involves data verification that results in final population numbers being sent to President Biden. After population totals are delivered to the president, the process continues on to demographic data at a smaller geography that is used to inform the redistricting process in the state. 

    If this were a typical decade, we would be on the verge of delivering the first round of redistricting data from the 2020 Census,” said James Whitehorne, Chief of the Redistricting and Voting Rights Data Office. “Our original plan was to deliver the data in state groupings starting February 18, 2021 and finishing by March 31, 2021.

    However this is not a normal decade and the pandemic has significantly delayed timelines. The deadline to get state population counts to the president is now April 30 and the data needed to inform the redistricting process in Virginia — including count of population by race, ethnicity, voting age, housing occupancy status, and group questions population at the census block level — won’t be available until at least September 30.

    Concerns of racial gerrymandering, following the congressional districts drawn from the previous census, has changed the way in which new boundaries will be drawn this time around. On November 3, 2020, Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment establishing a commission-driven congressional and state legislative redistricting process. This commission is comprised of 16 members, including eight legislators and eight non-legislator members. 

    Due to the delay in getting redistricting data to the commission, it appears that the upcoming General Election this fall will be run on existing boundaries; however, this has still yet to be determined. Groups like the VA Counts Coalition, led by the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, are working hard to hold the redistricting committee accountable and advocate for greater transparency into the process.

    Learn more about the KIDS COUNT Data Center and subscribe to receive data emails.

  5. New KIDS COUNT Data Available: February 2021

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    A new year means new data. The Virginia KIDS COUNT data center has just updated 16 indicators in the areas of demographics, poverty, and economic well-being. See the full list below. We also have new data including child TANF participation and three new indicators by race including children receiving child care subsidies, child SNAP participation, and child TANF participation. 

    • Childhood Poverty below 100% 
    • Childhood Poverty below 200%
    • Childhood Poverty below 100% (1-year estimates)
    • Childhood Poverty below 100% by race
    • Children under 6 with parents in labor force
    • Median income of families with own children in household
    • All Virginia residents in poverty
    • Children living in deep poverty
    • Children in poverty living in deep poverty
    • Child population by race
    • Total Child population
    • Children living in single parent households
    • On-time high school graduation
    • On-time high school graduation by subgroup
    • Children receiving child care subsidies
    • Child SNAP participation

    A few highlights to mention from the 2019 data for children:

    • There are over 1.8 million children living in the commonwealth
    • While the racial demographics of the Commonwealth have become more diverse in the last decade, little change has occurred since 2018. In 2019, the race breakdown of children is:
      • American Indian and Alaskan Native: <0.5%
      • Asian: 6%
      • Black: 20%
      • Hispanic: 14%
      • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: <.5%
      • 2 or more races: 6%
      • White: 53%
    • 71% of children have all available parents in the labor force.
    • 13% of children live below the poverty line. About 1 in 3 or 31% live below 200% of the federal poverty line.
      • American Indian: 3%
      • Asian & Pacific Islander: 6%
      • Black: 26%
      • Hispanic: 18%
      • 2 or more races: 15%
      • White: 8%

    The most recent data highlights minor improvements in economic wellbeing, however, continued worsening inequities among race and ethnic groups. With the demographics of Virginia’s children becoming more diverse, having the most up to date data disaggregated is crucial for policymakers, advocates, and researchers to monitor the progress of health and wellbeing and building a stronger future for all children in the Commonwealth. 

    (*State level estimates are evaluated using 1-year ACS data. Locality level estimated are evaluated using 5-year ACS data, most recently the 2015-2019 estimates).

    To learn more, check out the Virginia KIDS COUNT data center.

  6. Looking for a New Year Resolution?

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    It’s that time of year where we start to think of the many different things we can do in the next year to be a better version of ourselves.

    If you haven’t been able to think of a resolution yet, Voices has one guaranteed to bring you more knowledge in 2017: learn more about how children in your community are faring by using Voices’ data and interactive maps!

    We’ve been hard at work these last few weeks to ensure our KIDS COUNT Data Center has the most up-to-date data for your use. With the release of the 2015 American Community Survey and the Small Area Poverty Estimates in December, the poverty indicators in the Data Center are now updated to 2015 data, with more updates on other topics to come in the following weeks.

    Most exciting of all, you can now go to our website and use our new interactive map to get a snapshot of where children who are economically disadvantaged live across the Commonwealth. Learn which localities have the highest number and highest percentage of children economically disadvantaged. Hint: they aren’t the same localities, with one glaring exception…

    So what are you waiting for? Check it out!

    Happy New Year and well wishes for data exploring.

    *Children who are economically disadvantaged are defined as living below 200% of the federal poverty level (in 2015 that is a total gross combined salary of $24,250 for a family of four). These children live in families who struggle to meet basic needs, such as food, housing, utilities, child care, and transportation.
  7. Data Center Make Over


    Did you know there are over 200 indicators on child well-being in Virginia’s KIDS COUNT Data Center? Nearly 40 of those indicators are provided at the locality (county and/or city level). This means you can look at how the county or city you live in compares to others in Virginia on topics such as child economic well-being, education, health, and foster care. Use the left hand column on the home page to refine your search by county and topic.


    Voices works year-round to maintain this data and provide the most available and up-to-date so you know how children are faring in Virginia. We’ve spent the last several months doing a deep dive and looking at the data we make available to you.

    Now you can go to our Data Center and find out just how many children live below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) at 200%, 100%, and 50%. You can even see what percent of children who live in poverty, live in deep poverty (below 50% FPL).

    Why does data matter? Data = understanding. Data allows us to advocate for children using evidence-based decision making. It helps us see the gaps in services, and which programs help to lift children and families out of poverty.

    So check out our Data Center and see how children in your area are faring. While you’re at it, take a look at Voices’ Data Page on our website to see what publications are available that might be useful in your own work.

    And, keep an eye out. Voices is still refining and updating the indicators it tracks, and will have updated locality-level infographics in the coming months.

    If you have questions or need data, reach out to Beth Nolan, Voices’ KIDS COUNT Director, for assistance.

  8. Call for Nominations: 2015 “Making Kids Count” Awards


    The Carol S. Fox Making Kids Count Award

    Voices for Virginia’s Children established the Carol S. Fox Making Kids Count Award in 2012, to be presented annually to an individual and an organization in recognition of exceptional efforts to better the lives of Virginia’s children. Carol is a founder and was a long-time board member at Voices. Her vigorous and principled advocacy for the Commonwealth’s children, and her particular dedication to those children growing up disadvantaged, guided the organization and inspired Virginia’s policymakers and leaders. Read more about Carol’s contributions here.

    Award Criteria:
    An individual and an organization that has made exceptional contributions to improving the lives of children in Virginia can be nominated. These contributions may have been in public policy advocacy, public awareness and education, program development, service delivery, leadership of child-serving initiatives or organizations, civic or community service, or other endeavors. The efforts should embody many of the following criteria:

    • long-term commitment – the nominee’s efforts were sustained over a significant period of time
    • greatly increased public awareness of the needs of children, and  inspired policymakers, leaders or citizens to take action on behalf of children
    • achieved broad impact – e.g. reached a significant number of children; improved broad policies or laws; sparked system change; or other indications of broad impact
    • showed sensitivity to racial, ethnic and cultural differences
    • showed particular dedication to children who are disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable
    • represented the highest ethical standards and principled actions


    The selection committee will also consider individuals or organizations that have made a significant impact for children over a shorter period of time, as it will reserve the option to present additional awards to “rising stars” in the individual and organizational categories.

    Nomination Procedures:
    Submit via email (no surface mail) the Nomination Form (This will download as a Word document–don’t forget to save with your responses included) and a description–maximum length two pages double-spaced–of the achievements that merit recognition. The description should explicitly address the award criteria above and provide examples showing how the nominee meets most or all of these criteria. Attach two or three (no more) letters of support from others endorsing the nomination. Please do not attach additional materials.

    Selection Process:
    A committee appointed by Voices will evaluate nominations and select the award winners. Committee deliberations are confidential and its decision is final. The award will be presented at a reception in Richmond on October 7, 2015.

    DEADLINE FOR 2015 NOMINATIONSJuly 1, 2015, by 5PM.

    1. Complete the Nomination Form (Word document: don’t forget to save with your responses included);

    2. Complete your nomination statement;

    3. Collect no more than three letters of support; and

    4. Then attach files and submit to nikkia@vakids.org with “Fox Award” in the subject block.


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    Have you ever wanted a snapshot of how kids are doing in your region of Virginia? We have just released our new regional child well-being infographics to make it easy for you to see, at a glance, how children are faring.

    KIDS COUNT’s Data Center tracks the well-being of Virginia’s children on approximately 100 indicators by all 134 Virginia locales. These new regional infographics, available via the links below, provide additional information. They depict both the promises and challenges confronting Virginia’s children on a few key well-being indicators by region and locale.

    Central Region

    Albemarle, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford County, Bedford City, Campbell, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Fluvana, Greene, Lousia, Lynchburg, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Rappahannock

    Eastern Region

    Accomack, Essex, King & Queen, King William, Lancaster, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland

    Hampton Roads Region

    Chesapeake, Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, James City, Newport News, Norfolk, Mathews, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, York

    Northern Region

    Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Fauquier, Fredericksburg, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford

    Richmond Region

    Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Hopewell, New Kent, Petersburg, Powhatan, Prince George, Richmond

    Southside Region

    Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Danville, Emporia, Franklin City, Franklin County, Greensville, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Martinsville, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, Southampton, Surry, Sussex

    Southwest Region

    Bland, Bristol, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Galax, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Norton, Pulaski, Radford, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, Wythe

    Valley Region

    Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Buena Vista, Clarke, Craig, Covington, Frederick, Harrisonburg, Highland, Lexington, Page, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Salem, Shenandoah, Staunton, Warren, Waynesboro, Winchester

    If you have questions or want more information, contact Ted Groves, Kids Count Director, at ted@vakids.org.

  10. New Info on the Status of Child Well-Being in Virginia

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    Voices/KIDS COUNT’s new report “Status Report: Child Well-Being in Virginia January 2013” profiles five domains of child well-being: poverty/economic security, early childhood, health, education and child welfare/safety.

    Each domain contains reliable data on a set of indicators, many of which can be compared to national data. This permits us to monitor trends in child well-being over time and also to compare Virginia children to their counterparts nationally. We compare current data to the same data from 2006 or in some cases even earlier. The latest data available on many indicators is from 2011, which gives us at least a five-year span in which to evaluate progress or decline.