By Karen Best Wright, B.S., M.A., CHES
Health and Wellness Educator
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has some interesting and important data about children on its Kids Count website. You can compare state information in regards to how children live and who they live with. This information is of particular interest to me when comparing various states and the percentages of grandchildren being raised predominately by grandparents. Louisiana and Mississippi were among the highest percentages at 7% in 2011, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont were among the lowest at 2%. Viewing the data demographically via a map was particularly interesting.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway website, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has interesting data about children in foster care, both with relative foster parents and non-relative foster parents. Click here to visit their website. I found it interesting that in Florida 42% of the children in foster care are placed with relatives, while other states have a much lower percentage of relative foster parents. For example, Virginia only places about 6% of foster children with relatives. Why the difference? It is very perplexing. I have lived in both states and do not believe that it is simply because Florida has better relatives. Policies as well as views and politics vary from state to state.
If you are in the mood to research and learn more, please visit the links in this post for some very valuable and interesting data.
Karen Wright, Grandmother