The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s new and improved 16-measure KIDS COUNT index affords child welfare experts a truer, deeper look at how well states are performing across four distinct sectors. Learn how this tool is different from its predecessor, how it stacks up against other projects of similar scope, and how it is giving advocates smarter answers for aiding America’s children.
The initial index lumped 10 different measures together and focused heavily on health and mortality. In comparison, today’s KIDS COUNT index evaluates 16 measures divided equally among four domains. These areas are: health and community, education, economic well-being and health.
One Key Change
The Foundation believes that kids do best when they live in healthy, supportive families and that these families need supportive communities to thrive. The new KIDS COUNT index reflects this belief by painting a fuller picture of how these factors play out in children’s lives.
Other national projects track child welfare, but the KIDS COUNT index stands apart in that it drills the data down to state-level scores.
Nitty-Gritty Number Crunching
Data lovers can dive into the details and see how experts calculated standard scores for each index measure (equation included!). They can also learn how the experts used these scores to create domain-specific index values for each state.
Teamwork at Work
Revamping the KIDS COUNT index wasn’t a solo effort. The Foundation partnered with the Population Reference Bureau and eight other child welfare organizations to ensure that the new tool was rooted in solid science and smart logic, yet simple enough to sustain at the state level.
Statements & Quotations
The new index provides a more balanced picture of child well-being.
It’s not surprising that states faring well in one domain tend to do well in other dimensions of well-being.