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to improving the well-being of our state's children, youth and their families,
KIDS COUNT in Delaware has been using highly credible research, data collection
and education to inform change on behalf of children for the last 25 years.
KIDS COUNT is a national and state-by-state effort by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to track the well-being of children in the United States. KIDS COUNT in Delaware, a project of the Center for Community Research & Service, is a collaborative effort of over forty organizations to enrich local and state discussion concerning ways to secure better lives for all children by providing policy makers and citizens with benchmarks of child well-being.
KIDS COUNT in Delaware Team:
Janice Barlow, MPA, Policy Scientist and KIDS COUNT Director
Erin Lynch, MS, Assistant Policy Scientist
Natalie Paramo, Public Policy Intern
Miranda Perez-Rivera, Public Policy Intern
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The COVID-19 pandemic and recent civil unrest resulting from racial
injustice have intensified the need to re-imagine how communities and
public systems support children and families. Because these barriers
persist even with the broad progress of the past twenty-five years, it
is more urgent than ever for leaders to focus on systemic solutions that
work for everyone.
In a year-long webinar series "Timeline Tuesdays," KIDS COUNT in Delaware
brings together leaders from across the state to engage in conversations
- both grounded in data and informed by those working in the field - to
advance collaboration towards positive outcomes for children and
families. The goal of this series is to translate research and policy
from the past 25 years into effective action steps in partnership with
Future webinar dates & topics planned:
Registration for future webinars within the series will be forthcoming.
Compiling data for public use, the 2021 KIDS COUNT in Delaware Fact Book's
central theme is Delaware kids and COVID-19. Traditional indicators
included in the book assess trends in the health and well-being of children before
the coronavirus pandemic began. These data are supplemented
with measures from the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey to
show some of the immediate impacts of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Illuminates Flaws in Child-Serving Systems:
Starting in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has been making an impact on our lives. Since its arrival in Delaware, we have each learned a lot about prevention, made personal sacrifices, and adopted new behaviors in order to limit exposure and reduce community spread. Many of our societal structures are operating in a modified way: virtual and hybrid schooling, telemedicine, limited number of patrons in businesses, and non-essential personnel working from home are some of the changes to which we are now accustomed.
The pandemic has illuminated flaws in the patchwork of infrastructure supports for Delaware’s kids and their families. COVID-19 did not create these systemic issues. But the pandemic has further stressed our child-serving system and highlighted the disparate outcomes dependent on social determinants of health. COVID-19 has also caused us to collectively grapple with many hard questions: How is this history making pandemic affecting our children’s well-being? What will the lasting impacts be – physical, mental, social, and economic – of this virus?
In Delaware, families are struggling to meet the needs of children during the COVID-19 pandemic while simultaneously managing finances, school, work, and health. Addressing historic systemic challenges in our health care, education, and social safety net programs will need to be a priority so that the impacts of COVID-19 and the related economic crisis are minimized for Delaware's youth.
Keynote Address by: Dr. Melissa T. Merrick
Melissa T. Merrick, PhD, is President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse
America (PCA America), the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit
organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child abuse and
neglect. She has more than 20 years of clinical, research, and
leadership experience related to the etiology, course, and prevention of
child abuse and neglect.
Previously, Dr. Merrick was a senior epidemiologist at the National
Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta. She is recognized as one of
the country’s foremost experts on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs):
in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services’
Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, she served for 8 years as the lead
scientist for the ACEs study at CDC and is the lead author of CDC’s Vital Signs: ACEs, the most nationally representative report on the topic.
The online KIDS COUNT Data Center offers data on education, employment and income, poverty, health and youth at-risk factors. We invite you to discover ways to customize the data and join us in using this data to make informed decisions by investing in Delaware's biggest asset, our kids.
Subscribe to the KIDS COUNT in Delaware monthly e-newsletter for monthly updates on news, research, and policy information.
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