KIDS COUNT Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is KIDS COUNT?
KIDS COUNT is a national and state-by-state project of the Casey Foundation to track the status of children in the United States. At the national level, the principal activity of the initiative is the publication of the annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, which uses the best available data to measure the educational, social, economic and physical well-being of children state by state. The Foundation also funds a national network of state-level KIDS COUNT projects that provide a more detailed, county-by-county picture of the condition of children. The first national KIDS COUNT Data Book was published in 1990.
2. What does KIDS COUNT try to accomplish?
By providing policymakers and citizens with benchmarks of child well-being, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state, and national discussions of ways to secure better futures for all children. It is intended to gauge the seriousness of the problems facing children, and to guide the policy trends and goals on behalf of children. Put simply: KIDS COUNT exists to measure child outcomes and contribute to public accountability for those outcomes, resulting in a model for data-driven advocacy for children, their families and their communities.
3. What has been the impact of KIDS COUNT?
The national and state-level reports have received extensive media coverage and provided grist for a broad range of editorial opinion on improving the lives of children. In many states, KIDS COUNT has been the catalyst for public and private initiatives to improve children's lives. At the Casey Foundation, we believe that the more the public knows about the needs and problems of coming generations, the more likely we are to find the resolve, the resources and the strategies for effectively addressing them.
4. What do the state-level KIDS COUNT organizations do?
The Casey Foundation supports Kids Count organizations in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to raise public awareness and accountability for the condition of kids and families by: (1) measuring and reporting on the status of children, and (2) using that information creatively to inform public debate and strengthen public action on behalf of children and families within the state. To that end, KIDS COUNT grantees engage in a wide variety of public awareness activities including the annual publication of data-driven products that examine the status of children and families in their state. For more information about KIDS COUNT activities in your state please refer to the KIDS COUNT contact list.
5. What are the core indicators in the KIDS COUNT Data Book?
There are currently 10 KIDS COUNT measures: percent low birth-weight babies; infant mortality rate; child death rate; rate of teen deaths by accident, homicide, and suicide; teen birth rate; percent of children living with parents who do not have full-time, year-round employment; percent of teens who are high school dropouts; percent of teens not attending school and not working; percent of children in poverty; and percent of families with children headed by a single-parent. The KIDS COUNT Data Book also provides background information for each state, including demographic and family income data.
6. How do I cite KIDS COUNT data?
Permission to copy, reprint or otherwise distribute KIDS COUNT data is granted as long as appropriate acknowledgement is given. When citing data from the website, please include our URL: www.kidscount.org. For example: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Center, www.kidscount.org.
7. Are there other products from KIDS COUNT?
Yes. The project periodically publishes supplementary data books on key issues or specific groups. See all KIDS COUNT publications and resources.