KIDS COUNT Publications | Agenda for Children

Roadmap to Improve Child Well-Being in Louisiana

Charting a Path to Prosperity for Louisiana

The report examines what it would take to move Louisiana from the bottom of national rankings in child well-being. It builds upon the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 30-year KIDS COUNT effort to measure the well-being of children in every state, from birth through young adulthood.

Every year, KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks states on 16 different indicators of child well-being. Agenda for Children used that data to show what it would take for Louisiana to improve by one ranking, by five rankings, and what it would take to tie with the best-ranked state(s). For each measure, the Roadmap provides several evidence-based policy recommendations that state and local governments can use to fast-track Louisiana’s progress on key measures of child well-being.

Paid Leave Slides

Paid Leave is the Foundation of a Stronger Louisiana

We held a panel on October 1st that featuring state and national partners, including Caitlin Berni (Berni Consulting), Whitney Pesek, (Paid Leave for the United States), Stacey Roussel (Louisiana Budget Project) and Rep. Matthew Willard (Louisiana House of Representatives). Download a PDF of slides from the webinar.

Paid Leave Policy Brief

Paid Leave is the Foundation of a Stronger Louisiana

Our latest policy brief provides a detailed analysis of how paid sick days and paid leave policies would benefit Louisiana’s workers, families, children, and employers. As Louisiana works to recover from the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, statewide paid leave policies could form the foundation upon which our state builds a more equitable, resilient and thriving economy.

The brief also provides recommendations on how legislators, local governments, businesses and voters can work to make paid leave and paid sick days a reality for every worker in Louisiana.

2021 KIDS COUNT Data Book

Key Findings

The 32nd Edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book describes how children across the United States were faring before — and during — the coronavirus pandemic. Key findings include:

  • Louisiana ranked 48th in overall child well-being.
  • 27% of Louisiana children lived in poverty in 2019, the same proportion as in 2010.
  • According to data from the Census’ PULSE survey, 21% of households with children reported in March 2021 that they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the previous seven days.
The Data Book also made recommendations on how to improve child well-being, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, including making recent expansions of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanent. The impact would be felt by the vast majority of families with children-about 92% of Louisiana children would benefit from a permanent expansion.

Kids, Families and COVID-19

Pandemic Points and the Urgent Need to Respond

This KIDS COUNT policy report (December 2020) examines how households with children are faring during the pandemic. Its findings are primarily based on surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It finds that Louisiana adults with children in their households are facing many challenges, including:

  • 18% sometimes or often did not have enough to eat
  • 23% had little or no confidence in paying rent or their mortgage on time
  • 13% had no health insurance
  • 26% felt down, hopeless or depressed
The report also includes a series of recommendations for meeting the needs of children and families now and following the pandemic.
Pandemic Pay for Louisiana

It’s Time for Pandemic Pay for Louisiana’s Child Care Workers

COVID-19 Underlined Reality: Child Care is the Foundation of the Economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the reality that child care is the foundation of our economic prosperity. Without stable, quality child care, parents are unable to work outside the home. The child care industry is in a crisis due to widespread temporary closures and lower enrollment as a result of the pandemic, and maintaining a stable workforce has become a major challenge for child care centers. Providing child care workers with a temporary wage supplement of $5 per hour would help centers maintain staffing, which in turn, would help more parents return to the workforce, putting Louisiana on a strong path to recovery.

2020 KIDS COUNT Data Book

Louisiana Ranks 48th in Overall Child Well-Being

The 31st edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book describes how children across the United States were faring before the coronavirus pandemic began. It ranked Louisiana 48th in overall child well-being. This year’s publication continues to deliver the Foundation’s annual state rankings and the latest available data on child well-being. It also identifies multi-year trends — comparing statistics from 2010 to 2018. The Casey Foundation plans to explore the effects of the pandemic on child well-being in a future report.

For more details, visit the Louisiana profile and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s web site. The Interactive Data Book allows you to easily see data disaggregated by race. Louisiana’s disaggregated data makes it clear that any plan to improve outcomes for Louisiana’s children must begin with a focus on equity and inclusion.

Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods

20% of Louisiana Children Live in High-Poverty Neighborhoods

KIDS COUNT’s latest data snapshot, Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods, examines where concentrated poverty has worsened across the country despite a long period of national economic expansion. The report, which analyzes the latest U.S. Census data available, finds that between 2008–2012 and 2013–2017, Louisiana was one of 10 states that saw increases in the percentage of children living in concentrated poverty. By contrast, 29 states and the District of Columbia saw decreases in the share of children in concentrated poverty, and 11 states experienced no change.

Growing up in a community of concentrated poverty — that is, a neighborhood where 30 percent or more of the population is living in poverty — is one of the greatest risks to child development. Access the data snapshot from the Casey Foundation’s website.

2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book

Louisiana Lost Nearly 100,000 Children Since 1990

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States, ranking states on overall child well-being and in the domains of economic well-being, education, health and family and community. This edition also looks at how the U.S. child population has changed since the publication of the first Data Book in 1990.

The nation’s population of children has grown by 9.5 million since 1990, while Louisiana has seen its child population shrink by 100,000. Positive trends in children’s health, education and economic security were noted while the states’ overall rank remains near bottom at 49th.

Visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s website to see Louisiana’s data for all 16 measures.

Keeping Kids in Families

Trends in U.S. Foster Care Placement

In this data snapshot, the Annie E. Casey Foundation examines how placements for young people in foster care have changed from 2007 to 2017. Using data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Casey finds that child welfare systems are doing a better job of placing kids in families. At the same time, racial disparities persist for kids of all ages and progress eludes teens in care.

To push for further progress, the four-page snapshot tells how states can leverage the federal Family First Prevention Services Act to prioritize family placement and high-quality, family-centered settings to support even better outcomes — and a brighter future — for kids in care.

Key Louisiana findings from “Keeping Kids in Families” include:

  • The proportion of children in foster care who are in a family setting in Louisiana rose by seven percentage points, from 83 percent in 2007 to 90 percent in 2017.
  • For teenagers, progress in family placements has been elusive. In Louisiana, 40 percent of young people in the child welfare system who are 13 and older lived in group placements in 2017 ― the same proportion as 10 years ago.
  • Despite improvements for children from every racial and ethnic category, African-American children remain more likely to be placed in a non-family setting. In 2017, 84 percent of African-American children in foster care in Louisiana were placed in a family setting, compared to 93 percent of Non-Hispanic white children.

2017 KIDS COUNT Race for Results

Children of Color in Louisiana Face More Challenges Than Children in Other States

Louisiana’s future prosperity and ability to compete with other states depends on ensuring opportunities for our children and young adults today. Yet, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2017 Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children report reveals that, for far too many children of color, living in Louisiana means facing more challenges than children in other states, from being born at low birthweight to living in high-poverty neighborhoods.

Race for Results measures children’s progress on the national and state levels on key education, health and economic milestones by racial and ethnic groups. The report’s index uses a composite score of these milestones on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 1,000 (highest) to make comparisons. This allows readers to not only compare outcomes for children of various races and ethnicities within Louisiana, but also see how Louisiana compares to other states and the nation.

You can make Louisiana a state in which all children can thrive!
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